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Bush says will raise Iran nuclear issue with Hu

By Staff
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WASHINGTON, Apr 18 (Reuters) President George W Bush today said he will raise the issue of Iran's nuclear ambitions with China's President Hu Jintao later this week and refused to rule out nuclear retaliation if diplomatic efforts fail.

The United States and European allies suspect Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon and are seeking sanctions from the UN Security Council but China and Russia have been reluctant to go along. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful electricity generation.

Asked if his options included planning for a nuclear strike, as some news reports have said, Bush replied: ''All options are on the table. We want to solve this issue diplomatically and we're working hard to do so.'' Bush said the best way to deal with Iran was through a united effort with countries ''who recognize the danger of Iran having a nuclear weapon.'' ''I intend of course to bring the subject up of Iranian ambitions to have a nuclear weapon with Hu Jintao this Thursday,'' he told reporters in the Rose Garden. ''We'll continue to work diplomatically to get this problem solved.

REUTERS OM RN2004

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