US President George W. Bush said on Monday that Iran must stop
its nuclear uranium enrichment program or face international
"It's very important for the world to unite to say to the
Iranians if you continue to move forward, you will be isolated,"
Bush told reporters after talks with visiting Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert.
Bush also rejected direct talks with Tehran unless it suspends
its nuclear program. "If the Iranians want to have a dialogue with
us, we have shown them the way forward, that is, for them to
verifiably suspend their enrichment activities," Bush said.
Sharing his viewpoint with Bush, Olmert said "our position is
that we must do everything in our power to make sure the Iranians
do not cross a technological threshold that would allow them to
develop nuclear weapons."
Israel and the United States have "complete understanding" on
Iran's nuclear issues, Olmert said.
Earlier in the day, Olmert told NBC television's "Today Show"
program "we will not tolerate the possession of nuclear weapons by
Asked whether Israel would consider a preemptive strike
targeting Tehran's nuclear facilities, Olmert said: "I hope we
don't have to reach that stage," noting that his first choice would
be a negotiated resolution.
"Every compromise that will stop Iran from acquiring nuclear
capabilities, which will be acceptable to President Bush, would be
acceptable to me," Olmert said.
Israel believes itself the designated target of nuclear and
ballistic missile activities in Iran, whose president, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, has called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Bush, a
staunch supporter of Israel, has vowed to prevent Iran from having
Iranian leaders have pledged to defend its legal nuclear rights,
insisting it is solely aiming to use nuclear energy for civilian
On the Mideast peace process, Olmert said that he had exchanged
ideas with the US government that could allow positive developments
regarding future Israel-Palestine negotiations.
"There is an intensive dialogue between us and the US that
includes exchanging ideas and thoughts on ways to promote
conditions that would allow negotiations with the Palestinians,"
Olmert told reporters following his meeting with US President
George W. Bush at the White House.
The Israeli prime minister said he remained attached to the
internationally-backed "roadmap to peace" based on a vision of a
Palestinian state co-existing with Israel.
However, Olmert ruled out holding an international peace
conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ruling out any
effort replacing direct negotiation between Israel and the
On Israel's ties with the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority,
Olmert reiterated that the renewal of ties with the Palestinian
government depends on its recognition of the Jewish state's right
to exist and past accords, and renunciation of violence.
The Israeli premier also said that he is ready to meet moderate
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, optimistically stating that
"there are many things we can do to strengthen the moderates inside
the Palestinian Authority."
(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2006)