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Saturday, May 8, 2004
QUIETLY, U.S. PREPARES FOR ISRAEL STRIKE ON IRAN

QUIETLY, U.S. PREPARES FOR ISRAEL STRIKE ON IRAN

WASHINGTON [MENL] -- The United States has been examining the prospect that
Israel will attack Iranian nuclear facilities in an attempt to prevent the
Islamic republic from completing an atomic bomb as early as this year.

U.S. analysts and government sources said the Bush administration has
discussed the prospect of an Israeli air strike at several levels of
government. They said the issue has been examined in terms of the
diplomatic, military and security implications for the United States,
particularly its military presence in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region.

The issue of Iran's nuclear weapons program was discussed by President
George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during the latter's
visit to the White House on April 14. The sources said the two men were
alone during the brief discussion in an effort by the president to gauge a
likely Israeli response to the completion of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

"It would be intolerable for the Middle East if they [Iran] get a nuclear
weapon," Bush said after meeting Sharon.
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