Chavez says Bush belongs in asylum for WW3 comment

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PARIS, Nov 20 (Reuters) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said today that US President George W Bush belonged in a mental asylum for referring to the possibility of World War Three if Tehran developed nuclear weapons.

The remark is the latest in a long line of insults the outspoken left-wing leader has levelled at Bush, whom he has also called ''the devil'', a genocidal assassin and a donkey.

On October 17, Bush warned that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War Three as he tried to shore up international opposition to Tehran amid Russian scepticism over whether Iran was really seeking nuclear weapons, as the West believes and Tehran denies.

''Bush spoke of the possibility of this Third World War and the use of the atom bomb,'' Chavez told a news conference in Paris, where he met his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy.

''A Third World War? With an atom bomb? He said it, with an atom bomb. There would be no more world. The world would end.

Humanity would no longer exist,'' he said, speaking through an interpreter who translated his comments into French.

''I think he has to be put in an asylum. He has to be put in an asylum,'' said Chavez, an ally of Tehran, adding that Iran was not building nuclear weapons, echoing Iran's own denials.

On October 17 Bush told a news conference ''We've 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 111, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.'' REUTERS DKS BST0103

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