Wednesday, September 01, 2004

MSNBC - Bush rules out war against Iran

MSNBC - Bush rules out war against Iran: "Bush rules out war against Iran
President says circumstances not the same as Iraq
NBC, MSNBC and news services
Updated: 9:29 a.m. ET Aug. 31, 2004Despite U.S. allegations that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, the administration is not considering a military option against Tehran because diplomacy has just started, President Bush told NBC News in an interview aired Tuesday on the "Today" show.

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Asked if he would act preemptively against Iran just as he did against Iraq, the president said the Iraq war came only after "we had tried diplomacy" with Saddam Hussein for over a decade.

"The military option is always the last option for a president, not the first," Bush said, noting that the diplomatic effort was only starting in the case of Iran.

"We can work with others to continue sending a message [to Tehran]," Bush said. "We expect them to give up their nuclear ambitions."

The president also said he would have still waged war on Saddam had he known he didn't have weapons of mass destruction stockpiled in Iraq.

"I would have made the same decision knowing what I know today," he said in the interview with NBC's Matt Lauer. "Saddam had the capability of making weapons, and he could have passed that capability on to an enemy."

A key argument made by Bush in seeking international support for the war was that U.S. intelligence indicated such stockpiles existed."

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