Iran General NewsWhite House denies imminent plans to attack Iran

White House denies imminent plans to attack Iran


ImageCNN: The White House on Tuesday dismissed an Israeli media report that President Bush intends to attack Iran before his term ends in January.

ImageWASHINGTON (CNN) — The White House on Tuesday dismissed an Israeli media report that President Bush intends to attack Iran before his term ends in January.

"An article in today's Jerusalem Post about the president's position on Iran that quotes unnamed sources — quoting unnamed sources — is not worth the paper it's written on," the White House said in a statement hours after the Israeli newspaper published the report on its Web site.

The Jerusalem Post article cited an Israeli Army Radio report that quoted a "senior official in Jerusalem" saying a "senior member of the president's entourage" claimed Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney thought military action was called for against Tehran.

But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were opposed, the official told Army Radio, according to the newspaper.

The White House rejected the report.

"As the president has said, no president of the United States should ever take options off the table, but our preference and our actions for dealing with this matter remain through peaceful diplomatic means. Nothing has changed in that regard," the statement said.

Bush visited Israel last week during a Middle East tour. At several points during his trip, he reiterated his call to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons.

"Every peaceful nation in the region has an interest in opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions," Bush said.

"To allow the world's leading sponsor of terror to gain the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations," he said at the World Economic Forum meeting Sunday in Egypt.

Iran has said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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