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Bush says Iran ”real threat,” criticizes president | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush on Wednesday called Iran a &#34real threat&#34 and lashed out at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over the country”s nuclear program and calls for the destruction of Israel.

&#34Iran”s a real threat,&#34 Bush told Fox News in an interview in which he repeated his charge that Iran was part of an &#34axis of evil&#34 along with North Korea and prewar Iraq. &#34I called it part of the ”axis of evil” for a reason,&#34 Bush said.

&#34I”m concerned about a theocracy that has got little transparency, a country whose president has declared the destruction of Israel as part of their foreign policy, and a country that will not listen to the demands of the free world to get rid of its ambitions to have a nuclear weapon,&#34 Bush said in the interview.

Ahmadinejad, a former Revolutionary Guardsman who was elected president in June, said Israel must be &#34wiped off the map&#34 in October, provoking a diplomatic storm and stoking fears about Iran”s nuclear ambitions.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad triggered another wave of international condemnation when he declared the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis, a myth.

Washington accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is only for generating electricity.

In dealing with Iran, Bush said he continued &#34to work the diplomatic front,&#34 but that his objective was to &#34end tyranny.&#34

To Iran”s leaders, Bush said, &#34I would hope they”d be wise enough to begin to listen to the people and allow the people to participate in their government.&#34