Bush promises to defend Israel against Iran

cleveland (ynetnews) | President George Bush said he hoped to resolve the nuclear dispute with Iran using international diplomacy, but warned Tehran he would resort to military action if necessary to defend Israel.

“The threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. That’s a threat, a serious threat. It’s a threat to world peace,” Bush said during a speech defending the war in Iraq in Cleveland this week.

“I made it clear, and I’ll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel,” said Bush, who was referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated call for the destruction of Israel.

Bush’s comments come as the U.N. Security Council seeks ways to stop Iran’s nuclear activities and after Iran accepted a months-old U.S. proposal for direct talks on Iraq.

According to Ha’aretz, the Bush administration is concerned that the Iranians have allowed weapons into Iraq that have supported anti-U.S. insurgents and contributed to instability in the country. Iran is also widely believed to exercise influence on Iraq’s majority Shiite population.

Bush said the purpose of any talks with Iran would be to raise U.S. concerns about developments in Iraq. His administration has ruled out negotiations over the nuclear dispute.

In another measure against Iran, Congress is considering passing the Iran Freedom Support Act, legislation that would tighten American sanctions on Iran in order to stop the flow of funds that could be used for atomic work.