U.S. leaders discuss Iranian nuclear program

Iran test-fired a long-range missile, Israeli defense officials said Wednesday, as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and U.S. President George W. Bush were expressing concern over Iran's nuclear program.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters, said the missile was a Shihab-3 with a range of 1,500 kilometers (900 miles), the same type of missile that has been test-fired several times in the past.

Olmert mentioned Iranian missiles of that range in a news conference in Washington after meeting Bush, noting that it would give Iran the ability to strike any point in Europe as well as Israel. Olmert said it is not to late to stop the Iranian program. "This is a moment of truth," he said.

Iran has said it is enriching uranium, a key part of producing nuclear weapons, but Iran insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

At the joint news conference, Bush said Iran had turned down an offer from the West to supply it with fuel for nuclear power reactors, but Iran insisted on enriching its own uranium, raising concerns that its goal was to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Bush and Olmert both said that Iran must be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons. Bush said that diplomatic means must be exhausted, implying that a military option has not been ruled out.

Olmert noted that Iran has called for the destruction of Israel, and Israel considers Iran a serious threat, reports the AP.

I.L.