TEL AVIV — Israel and the United States have begun their annual strategic dialogue, designed to focus on the Iranian threat.
Richard Perle, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former member of the Defense Policy Board, said President Bush would not allow a nuclear Iran. Perle, who for years was regarded as a voice of conservative strategists within the Bush administration, said
the president would be prepared to help an Israeli operation to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.
"The U.S. position is that if there is going to be action against Iran's nuclear infrastructure, it is vital that it succeed," Perle said.
"The worst is a failed military action that leaves Iran with a nuclear capability or close to a nuclear capability. I have very little doubt that this president would order the necessary military action," he said.
Officials said Israeli and U.S. teams began talks in Tel Aviv on Jan. 21. The dialogue focused on Iran's nuclear program but also included such issues as counter-insurgency and arms exports control.