'Sharon tried to discuss Iran military options with Bush' Financial Express April 13, 2005 by Reuters Israeli defence officials asked Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to raise a military option against Iran's nuclear programme with US President George Bush in talks in Texas on Monday, Israel's Army Radio said. The radio said US defense officials had so far refused Israeli entreaties to discuss attacking Iranian nuclear facilities as a last resort should diplomatic pressure fail. Israeli and US officials were not immediately available for comment. Sharon planned to raise Iran's atomic development drive with Bush but it was unclear whether he would suggest a possible military strike. The talks were to be devoted mainly to Israel's planned Gaza pullout and other peace issues with Palestinians. The Jewish state has made clear it considers all options legitimate for preventing its arch-enemy getting the bomb. But analysts agree that Israel would be unlikely to resort to force unless authorised by its chief ally the United States. Iran, which denies seeking a nuclear bomb, is in talks with the European Union on curbing its uranium enrichment, a process that could be used to produce nuclear weapons. Army Radio said Israel, believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear power, wants to prepare a military alternative. "We are not managing to get the Americans to talk about what will happen if the diplomatic efforts fail and Iran resumes enriching uranium, putting it on track to an atomic bomb," it quoted a senior defense official as saying he told Sharon. Bush has said he backs the EU-led efforts to get Iran to come clean on its nuclear programme but that the US has not ruled out the possibility of military strikes. Israel sent jets to destroy the Iraqi reactor at Osiraq in 1981, driving Saddam Hussein's quest for the bomb underground.