Perle: Bush Will Attack Iran If Necessary

Jan. 23, 2007

One of America's most influential neocons says President Bush is prepared to use military force against Iran if he believes it will acquire nuclear weapons.

This past Sunday, Richard Perle, speaking in Israel at the Herzliya Conference, said he had no doubt of President Bush's intentions.

"President George Bush will order an attack on Iran if it becomes clear to him that Iran is set to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities while he is still in office," Haaretz reported of Perle's remarks.

Perle, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, served as chairman of the Bush administration's Defense Policy Board. Perle had been a strong advocate for the liberation of Iraq in the early days of the Bush administration.

Recently, Perle has been critical of the administration's handling of the war after the successful removal of Saddam Hussein.

Perle argued that sanctions against Iran, pushed by European nations, will do little to stop Iran's ambition to become a nuclear power.

Perle was joined at the conference by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu called for a phased program to address the Iran menace, beginning with economic sanctions and divestment from companies doing business with Iran.

"I call on the world that did not stop the Holocaust to stop investing in Iran to prevent genocide," Netanyahu said, referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments that the Jewish state should be wiped from the map.

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