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Bush warns nuclear-armed Iran could mean "World War III"

By dpa news     Oct 17, 2007 in Politics
US President George W Bush warned Wednesday that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to a third world war because of the Islamic state's determination to destroy Israel.
"We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel," Bush said, referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," Bush said.
Bush's comments came one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Ahmadinejad in Tehran and stated there was no evidence to support western accusations that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Bush said he was eager to hear from Putin about his conversations with Ahmadinejad and whether the Russian leader remained determined to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Bush said he wanted Putin to "clarify" his remarks.
"He understands that it's in the world's interests to make sure that Iran does not have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon," Bush said.
"If he wasn't concerned about it, then why do we have such good progress at the United Nations?" Bush said.
Putin has backed two UN Security Council resolutions imposing limited sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, but has been reluctant to come down too hard on Tehran over concerns it would undermine the diplomatic effort to keep Iran from developing atomic weapons.
Iran maintains the process is solely for producing civilian energy. dpa mm cc