Bush doesn't believe Iran nuke report

01/14/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Newsweek magazine is reporting that President George Bush in discussions last week with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert all but disowned the National Intelligence Estimate released last month that says that Iran halted its nuclear program back in 2003.

An anonymous "senior administration official" tells Newsweek that Bush told the Israelis that he "can’t control what the intelligence community says, but that the conclusions in the NIE don’t reflect his own views.”

The magazine reports that Bush initially spoke with Olmert about the NIE’s findings about Iran a week before it was published. According to a source, Bush told Olmert he was uncomfortable with the findings and seemed almost apologetic.

Meanwhile the Israeli Primi Minister today told a parliamentary panel that Israel rejects "no options to block Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

Charles Enderlin is the Middle East Bureau Chief for the European network France 2. He lives in Jerusalem and is currently in the U.S. promoting his new book, The Lost Years: Radical Islam, Intifada, and war in the Middle East 2001-2006.

Meir Javedanfar, an Israel-based Iran analyst, told the Associated Press that Olmert refused to rule out a military option "in order to increase the urgency to find a diplomatic solution." He added, “"I think this is Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's way of making sure that the international community stays alert on the Iranian nuclear issues,. The concern in Israel is that after the NIE report, the world is just going to sit and watch Iran continue with its nuclear weapons program."

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