Iran Tops Bush, Olmert Agenda

Ad Feedback - WASHINGTON - Iran's nuclear program and the Israeli government's attempts to negotiate peace with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Syria will top the agenda when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert meets with President Bush Wednesday.

In his remarks at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) meeting Tuesday, the prime minister said the Iranian nuclear threat "must be stopped by all possible means," including international, across-the-board sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Banning Iranian businessmen and imposing sanctions on gasoline imported to Iran were two ideas Olmert presented at the meeting.

"The long-term cost of a nuclear Iran greatly outweighs the short-term benefits of doing business with Iran," Olmert said.

Economic sanctions are "only an initial step," he said, and "more drastic and robust measures" were also urgently needed.

Olmert also plans to discuss Israel's future purchase of F-35 fighter jets and long-range radar and missile defense systems.

Whether the two leaders talk about Olmert's deteriorating political situation at home, where his popularity has plummeted with the latest police investigation, is unknown.

In any case, Olmert will update the President on the latest decisions in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, as well as the situation with Syria, according to the prime minister's spokesman Mark Regev.

The investigation against Olmert has likely put the final nail in Bush's vision for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement before his tenure ends.

Source: The Associated Press

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