(AFP) – May 22, 2008
WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Thursday denied reports that she had discussed a US naval blockade of Iran with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
"During the luncheon meeting with Prime Minister Olmert, there was never any mention of a US naval blockade of Iranian ports," said Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Pelosi.
On Wednesday, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Olmert urged the United States, in a meeting with Pelosi, to impose such a blockade to pressure Iran to stop its controversial nuclear program.
"The present economic sanctions on Iran have exhausted themselves," Olmert was quoted as telling the California Democrat. The report was not confirmed by Olmert's office.
Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, suspects, like Washington, that Tehran's nuclear program is cover for a drive to develop an atomic bomb, something Iran strongly denies.
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