Feb. 14, 2007 — -- President Bush insisted Wednesday that the Iranian government is providing deadly weapons to insurgents in Iraq, though he couldn't confirm whether the order to do so came from Iran's highest offices.
Referring to a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard known as Al Qud, Bush said, "whether Ahmadinejad ordered the Qud's Force to do this, I don't think we know. But know that they're there. And I intend to do something about it. And I've asked our commanders to do something about it. And we're going to protect our troops."
In his first news conference of the year, Bush called the idea that the United States is manipulating information to suggest that Iran is supplying the weapons as "preposterous."
The president said the reason the nation isn't engaging in direct talks with Iran is because he doesn't think it would achieve success.
Bush also addressed the current congressional debate over a resolution which the House will vote on later this week. The resolution opposes the increase of U.S. troop presence in Iraq. Bush called on Congress to pass spending legislation needed to finance the war.
"Our troops are counting on their elected leaders in Washington, D.C., to provide them with the support they need to do their mission," the president said. "We have a responsibility, all of us here in Washington, to make sure that our men and women in uniform have the resources and the flexibility they need to prevail."
When ABC News' Martha Raddatz asked the president if he agreed with the national intelligence estimate that Iraq was in a civil war, Bush did not say yes or no. He responded instead that the people whose judgment he trusts would not qualify it that way.
"[N]o matter what you call it, it's a complex situation, and it needed to be dealt with inside of Iraq," Bush said. "We've got people who say 'civil war.' We've got people on the ground who don't believe it's a civil war. But nevertheless it is -- it was dangerous enough that I had to make a decision to try to stop it."