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President Bush said Iran must be stopped from gaining nuclear weapons know-how to avoid World War III.

The president said he is stressing that to world leaders. “If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would be a dangerous threat to world peace,” Bush said at a news conference Wednesday. “We got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” Bush’s emphasis on keeping Iran from acquiring the knowledge to build a nuclear weapon nudges him closer to the Israeli position.

In recent months, Israel has said its red line is Iran achieving nuclear weapon know-how, which it believes may be as soon as next year. U.S. officials, by contrast, until now reportedly have said the red line should be Iran’s capacity to actually build a weapon, which might take years.

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