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(photo credit: AP)
US President George W. Bush has provided Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with a strong American commitment to protect Israel in case it is attacked by Iran.
In a joint press conference following their Tuesday White House meeting, Bush said that "Israel is a close friend and ally of the United States, and in the event of any attack on Israel, the United States will come to Israel's aid.
"The United States is strongly committed, and I'm strongly committed, to the security of Israel as a vibrant, Jewish state."
When asked about the options the US sees in dealing with Iran's nuclear threat, Bush stressed the need for diplomacy and said that efforts are being made to convince Russia that Iran is "showing no good faith."
Olmert would not go into the details of his conversation with Bush regarding Iran, but he said after the meeting that what he had heard from the president "gives me reason to be satisfied."
In his speech to Congress on Wednesday, Olmert said there was no time to wait when dealing with Iran. He also stressed that the measure for success of the international community in this issue would be the results, not the intentions, saying, "If we don't take Iran's bellicose rhetoric seriously now, we will be forced to take its nuclear aggression seriously later."