Did President Bush, at his October 17, 2007, press conference, threaten the world with war?

You decide:

Q But you definitively believe Iran wants to build a nuclear weapon?

THE PRESIDENT: I think so long — until they suspend and/or make it clear that they — that their statements aren’t real, yeah, I believe they want to have the capacity, the knowledge, in order to make a nuclear weapon. And I know it’s in the world’s interest to prevent them from doing so. I believe that the Iranian — if Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would be a dangerous threat to world peace.

But this — we got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. 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 have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously.

And we’ll continue to work with all nations about the seriousness of this threat. Plus we’ll continue working the financial measures that we’re in the process of doing. In other words, I think — the whole strategy is, is that at some point in time, leaders or responsible folks inside of Iran may get tired of isolation and say, this isn’t worth it. And to me, it’s worth the effort to keep the pressure on this government.

And secondly, it’s important for the Iranian people to know we harbor no resentment to them. We’re disappointed in the Iranian government’s actions, as should they be. Inflation is way too high; isolation is causing economic pain. This is a country that has got a much better future, people have got a much better — should have better hope inside Iran than this current government is providing them.

So it’s — look, it’s a complex issue, no question about it. But my intent is to continue to rally the world to send a focused signal to the Iranian government that we will continue to work to isolate you, in the hopes that at some point in time, somebody else shows up and says it’s not worth the isolation.

Surely Bush doesn’t think Iran would use a nuclear weapon against the US, does he?

If American and Israeli nuclear arms cannot deter feared threats from small new nuclear powers (like Iran would be), then these states should get rid of their nuclear weapons. They serve virtually no purpose other than deterrence against nuclear threats.

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