Iran General NewsCheney seeking support against Iran in Mideast tour: Bush

Cheney seeking support against Iran in Mideast tour: Bush

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AFP: President George W. Bush indicated Thursday that Vice President Dick Cheney was seeking during his Middle East trip to shore up support among moderate Arab states to confront Iran. WASHINGTON, May 10, 2007 (AFP) – President George W. Bush indicated Thursday that Vice President Dick Cheney was seeking during his Middle East trip to shore up support among moderate Arab states to confront Iran.

Bush, who spoke as Cheney wrapped up a visit in Iraq and headed to the United Arab Emirates, said his deputy would remind Arab allies that Washington understands the “consequences of Iran having a nuclear weapon.”

Cheney, who will also visit Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, will let them know that they have “a stalwart friend in dealing with extremism in that vital part of the world,” he said.

“The vice president will lay out our strategy of convincing others to join us in — on this Iranian issue,” he said.

Cheney “will also remind people that success in Iraq will be important for dealing with Iran, that if we were to listen to some of the voices in (the US) Congress and withdraw before the job was done, it would embolden Iran,” Bush said.

Washington accuses Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb under cover of a civilian atomic program and of fomenting violence in Iraq by arming and training insurgents — charges that Tehran denies.

Addressing Cheney’s talks with Iraqi officials, Bush said the vice president pressed Baghdad to quickly meet key political and other goals.

“His first message to the Iraqis was that they have got to speed up their clock,” Bush told reporters at the Pentagon after meeting defense officials.

“And they must understand that we are very serious when it comes to them passing a law that enables this country to more likely reconcile” Shiite and Sunni communities divided by sectarian violence, he said.

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