President Bush on Saturday slammed Syrian and Iranian support for Hezbollah and underscored U.S. support for the Israeli reaction to the provocations by the Shiite guerrillas in Lebanon.
"For many years, Syria has been a primary sponsor of Hezbollah and it has helped provide Hezbollah with shipments of Iranian-made weapons," Bush said in his weekly radio address on Saturday.
"Iran's regime has also repeatedly defied the international community with its ambition for nuclear weapons and aid to terrorist groups. Their actions threaten the entire Middle East and stand in the way of resolving the current crisis and bringing lasting peace to this troubled region."
Bush reiterated that Hezbollah started the crisis on July 12 when "the terrorist group Hezbollah" launched its raid into Israel that led to the kidnapping of two soldiers. Israel than began its offensive and Hezbollah rocketed Israeli targets.
"I believe sovereign nations have the right to defend their people from terrorist attack, and to take the necessary action to prevent those attacks," Bush said, also emphasizing that "we have called on Israel to continue to exercise the greatest possible care to protect innocent lives."
Bush said the United States is concerned over how the warfare will affect Lebanon's "young democracy" and he hopes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will make strides in her diplomatic efforts next week in her trip to the Middle East and Europe.