WASHINGTON – President Bush said Wednesday that U.S. action against Iraq remains an option but he is in no hurry to make a decision about it.
In an interview aired on NBC Nightly News, Bush repeated warnings of possible action because Saddam Hussein continues to block arms inspections mandated under United Nations sanctions slapped on Iraq for its invasion of Kuwait. Inspectors have not been allowed into Iraq since departing ahead of U.S. airstrikes in late 1998.
"Iraq is on the screen," Bush said. "I mean, after all, they're not letting our inspectors in."
But Bush said he is not as adamant as some in his administration, who want action because they say Saddam is trying to rebuild chemical and biological weapons programs that U.N. inspectors tried to dismantle after the 1991 Gulf War.
"I don't feel the impatience that some might feel. I really don't," Bush said. He said he is satisfied with the progress of the anti-terrorism campaign underway in Afghanistan.
"We've achieved a significant series of objectives in Afghanistan," Bush said. "We're cutting off a lot of money. And the world knows that we're very serious and intent upon holding people to a standard."