Attack Us and Well Hit You Hard, Bush Warns Iran; George Bush: All Options

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GEORGE Bush began a historic visit to the Middle East yesterdayand delivered his toughest warning yet to Iran.

After last weekends skirmish in the Gulf, he threatened serious consequences ifan attack was launched, adding: All options are on the table.

U.S. warships came within minutes of opening fire on Iranian gunboats whichharassed and threatened to blow them up in the Strait of Hormuz.

We have made it clear publicly there will be serious consequences if theyattack our ships, pure and simple, Bush said in Jerusalem. My advice to them isdont do it.

His national security adviser Stephen Hadley said the incident had been a veryprovocative act that came close to causing an altercation.

Making clear that the U.S. would strike back militarily, Mr Bush said: Thenational security adviser was making it abundantly clear that all options areon the table to protect our assets.

Bushs warning came at the start of his first visit to Israel and thePalestinian territories, aimed at bolstering peace efforts and rallying Arabopposition to Iran, which is already at odds with Washington over its nuclearprogramme.

The president said he saw a new opportunity for peace in the Holy Land, alasting peace that had eluded many of his predecessors and of guaranteeingIsraels security as a Jewish state. …