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Friday, January 12, 2007
Tony Snow: Notion of war preparations for Iran, Syria an 'urban legend'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House spokesman Tony Snow on Friday disputed what he called a "rumor or urban legend" that President Bush made comments in his speech that were aimed at preparing the way for war with Iran and Syria.

Snow, speaking to reporters at the daily White House briefing, emphatically said there are no plans for war with Iran and Syria, and that the president wasn't saying that in his Wednesday night address, which focused on a new strategy to win the war in Iraq.

"What the president was talking about is defending American forces within Iraq and also doing what we can to disrupt networks that might be trying to convey weapons into battle theaters in Iraq to kill Americans and Iraqis," Snow said.

There have been long-standing concerns over Iran's support of Shiite militants in Iraq and over Sunni insurgents crossing from Syria into Iraq to stage attacks in Anbar province and Baghdad.

Bush said in his speech that "succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria."

The president said those "regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq" and he singled out Iran for "providing material support for attacks on American troops."
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