Transcript: President Bush on Iran

JUAN WILLIAMS: Iran's ambassador to Iraq says Iran is planning to greatly expand its economic and military ties with Iran – with Iraq. You said you have proof of Iran's role in attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. I know you want to take care of this diplomatically – I've heard you say that – but if Iran escalates its military action in Iraq, how will the U.S. respond?

PRESIDENT BUSH: If Iran escalates its military action in Iraq to the detriment of our troops and/or innocent Iraqi people, we will respond firmly. It makes common sense for the commander-in-chief to say to our troops and the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government that we will help you defend yourself from people that want to sow discord and harm. And so we will do what it takes to protect our troops.

One of the things that is very important in discussing Iran is not to mix issues. Our relationship with Iran is based upon a lot of different issues. One is what is happening in Iraq. Another is their ambitions to have a nuclear weapon. And we're dealing with this issue diplomatically, and I think this can be solved diplomatically. And the message that we are working to send to the Iranian regime and the Iranian people is that you will become increasingly isolated if you continue to pursue a nuclear weapon.

The message to the Iranian people is that your government is going to cause you deprivation. In other words, you've got a chance to really flourish again as a great tradition. However, if your government continues to insist upon a nuclear weapon, there will be lost opportunity for the Iranian people. They won't be able to realize their full potential.

The Iranian people have got to know that this government and the United States bears no hostility to them. We're just deeply concerned about a government that is insisting upon having a nuclear weapon, and at the same time, rewriting history – the history of the past, and regards, for example, the Holocaust. It troubles a lot of people in this world, and I'll continue to work with friends and allies to send a clear message.

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