03/28/2008 02:43 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bush Calls Iran Grave Threat, Surprises Staff...

President Bush declared yesterday that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose "a grave threat to the security of the world" as he tried to rally support from other major powers for U.N. Security Council action unless a defiant Tehran abandons any aspirations for nuclear weapons.


The "grave threat" language was not in any talking points prepared and distributed yesterday across the U.S. government, and it surprised diplomats and even some of Bush's own aides. During his State of the Union address in 2002, when Bush labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea the "axis of evil," he said the three states posed a "grave and growing danger." And he later repeated the "grave threat" description to describe Saddam Hussein's Iraq. But by and large, he has shied away from those words regarding Iran.

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