The U.S. President George W. Bush raised the possibility of using a military operation against Iran after it announced resuming its nuclear energy program.
Bush said on the Israeli television that the U.S. would use force as last resorts to press Tehran permanently abandon its nuclear programme.
"The United States and Israel are united in our objective to make sure that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, Bush said during the Israeli television interview.
"All options are on the table," Bush is quoted as saying by Al Jazeera Magazine.
Asked if that included the use of force, Bush, speaking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, replied: "As I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any president and you know, we’ve used force in the recent past to secure our country."
"It's difficult for the commander-in-chef to put kids in harm's way. Nevertheless, I have been willing to do so as a last resort in order to secure this country and to provide the opportunity for people to live in free societies."
Iran rejected a European Union offer of political and economic incentives in return for suspending its nuclear programme, and reopened uranium conversion facilities at its Isfahan plant on Aug. 8, restarting its uranium enrichment program.
The U.S., backed by Israel, claims that Iran is covertly trying to produce nuclear weapons, but Iran has a affirmed that its nuclear program is solely aimed at producing electricity.
On Thursday, the governing board of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) unanimously called on Iran to stop sensitive atomic work.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on Friday that negotiations were still possible with the Islamic republic only if it agreed to suspend its nuclear activities.
The next step would be on Sept. 3 when IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei reports on Iran’s activities, Douste-Blazy added.
In a weary world of endless US military interventions, sanctions, trade tariffs and chaos, let’s pause and take stock of the shining house on the hill