by Lorna Salzman
The president of Iran is reportedly puzzled and dismayed at what he describes as "fear-mongering" in the American press that Iran is planning a nuclear attack on Israel.
The conservative press and some Jews in the United States are putting huge pressure on Pres. Bush and his administration to confront Iran directly with the threat of force if it does not abandon its nuclear facilities and stop supporting anti-Israel and anti-western movements and terrorists in Syria and elsewhere.
Bush's public address last Wednesday contained what some in the media considered veiled threats of a possible American invasion based on what Bush said was continued training and support by Iran of non=-Iranian terrorists to abduct or harm Americans.
But Ahmadinejad strongly denied that Iran had any plans for aggression against Israel or American interests.
"We in the Islamic state of Iran abide by our Koranic code of peace and humane treatment of those who treat us honorably. The removal of our arch-enemy Saddam Hussein, and his execution, we immediately recognized as a gesture of peace and reconciliation by the United States. As devout Muslims, we are forever in the debt of Pres. Bush for this favor. No one need doubt our appreciation and sincere thanks to the U.S. for removing the largest threat to our territorial and political integrity".