US, Israel finalise Iran strike plan
Press Esc | June 20, 2007
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited Washington yesterday and met with US President George W. Bush to finalise plans for a joint US-Israel strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
President Bush hinted that actions against Iran will form the core of their discussion.
"I'm sure that we will find some time, also, to discuss other measures, such as the danger of Iran and the threats that come from the President of Iran, who talks time and again about the liquidation of the state of Israel, something that is totally intolerable and unacceptable," he said. "And we have to continue the measures taken in order to stop the Iranian efforts to establish unconventional weapons."
Talking to reporters at a joint press conference Bush once again re-iterated his position on military strikes against Iran by saying "I will tell you this, that my position hasn't changed, and that is all options are on the table."
"And I fully understand the concerns of any Israeli when they hear the voice of the man in Iran saying, on the one hand, we want to acquire the technologies and know-how to build a -- enrich uranium, which could then be converted into a nuclear weapon, and on the other hand, we want to destroy Israel," he added. "Look, if I were an Israeli citizen I would view that as a serious threat to my security. And as a strong ally of Israel, I view that as a serious threat to its security -- not only the security of Israel, but the security of the Middle East."
Olmert also met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to obtain their broad support for military action against Iran.
Pelosi's comments welcoming the Prime Minister indicate that he is likely to get the backing he is seeking from the Congress.
“With the Republican and Democratic leaders gathered here, you see how strong the bipartisanship is for a great U.S.-Israel relationship," Pelosi said.
Meanwhile, Iran has formally complained to the United Nations about the planned strike by US and Israel.
"I wish to inform you that, emboldened by the absence of any action by the Security Council, various Israeli officials have unabatedly continued to publicly and contemptuously make unlawful and dangerous threats of resorting to force against the Islamic Republic of Iran," Iran's UN ambassador Javad Zarif wrote in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, dated June 11.
Iran has also accused the US of carrying out covert operations aimed at destabilising the country.
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