Photo: Reuters
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Photo: AP
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Bush threatens to isolate Iran over nuke plan
At end of meeting with Prime Minister Olmert at White House, US president calls Tehran's nuclear plan 'a threat to world peace,' calls on world to unite 'to say to Iranians if you continue to move forward you will be isolated'
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met Monday evening with US President George W. Bush at the White House, and the two officials discussed the Iranian nuclear plan.


The Iranians will bear the consequences if they fail to compromise, Bush told Olmert.


Before the meeting, which lasted about 50 minutes, the two complimented each other. Bush said cynically that there is nothing like elections to make a person feel good, only several days after his party was defeated in the US Congress elections.


Bush called Iran "a threat to world peace" and repeated his stance that Tehran must abandon its nuclear ambitions. Olmert also expressed Israel's concerns about what it sees as an Iranian threat to its security.


"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 said, when asked whether he favored sanctions against Tehran.

Bush and Olmert at the White House (Photo: AP)


"One source of isolation would be economic," Bush told reporters after the meering. "There has to be a consequence for their intransigence."


Olmert said that "the stance we are taking on the Iranian issue is that every effort must be exerted for them not to cross the technological threshold which will allow them to acquire nuclear weapons.


"I had a very long conversation with the president on this issue, and we are in complete agreement over the objectives. Iran must understand that there will be consequences for not agreeing to a compromise. I cannot say what the consequences will be, but I support the president's huge efforts regarding the issue.


"I am very encouraged by the conversation we had, which was naturally more detailed and specific than what was said here," Olmert added.


Bush and Olmert: Talks with Assad, but…

Addressing the Syrian issue, President Bush said that the United States had several objectives, including for Syria to leave Lebanon in order for an independent Lebanese government to exist.


Another American objective is to help the young Iraqi democracy succeed.


Olmert agreed: "I share the same opinion as the president. We will be pleased to have an opportunity for negotiations, but it has to be based on a responsible policy. In the meantime, what the Syrians are doing is leaning to the opposite direction.


"I hope we will reach conditions, but at the present situation I do not believe there is room for talks. This is impossible."


He mentioned the Syrian conduct in Lebanon and Iraq, as well as Syria's sponsorship to Hamas, which launches terror attacks against Israel.


Referring to the Palestinian issue, Bush stressed the need for humanitarian assistance to the peace-seeking population in the territories, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.


Ahead of the White House meeting, Olmert said in an interview with NBC's Today Show that he does not object to direct negotiations between the Americans and Iran, as long as the talks will prevent the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons.


"I am not looking for wars. I am not looking for confrontations. I'm looking for the outcome. This campaign will be tested in only one way – whether it will succeed to stop Iran from possessing nuclear weapons," he said in the interview.


"Every compromise that will stop Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities which will be acceptable to President Bush will be acceptable to me," Olmert added.


News agencies contributed to the report


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