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Bush during his State of the Nation speech on January 23 (epa)
January 26, 2007 -- The White House says President George W. Bush has authorized U.S. forces in Iraq to take whatever actions are necessary to counter Iranian agents deemed a threat to American troops or the Iraqi public.
Bush said today that "if somebody's trying to harm our troops, or stop us from achieving our goal, or killing innocent citizens in Iraq, we will stop them."
Speaking to reporters as he met with the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Lieutenant General David Petraeus, Bush added that any operations against Iranians would be conducted only inside Iraq.
"Some are trying to say that because we are helping ourselves in Iraq by stopping outside influence from killing our soldiers or hurting Iraqi people, that we want to expand this beyond the borders," he said. "That presumption is simply not accurate. We can solve our problems with Iran diplomatically."
A spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, Gordon Johndroe, said Washington continues to receive information that Iranians are supplying equipment or training that is being used to harm U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
In his State of the Union address on January 10, Bush said the United States intended to confront Iran and Syria more vigorously.
(AFP, Reuters, AP)
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