Bush, after a speech Monday in Washington at a John Hopkins University program, was asked whether the United States would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. This came after the weekend report in The New Yorker by Seymour Hersh that claimed the United States was taking steps toward a military attack, including using nuclear weapons, on Iran's suspected nuclear facilities.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful uses but Western countries aren't sure. The U.N. Security Council is looking into the program.
"The doctrine of prevention is to work together to prevent the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon," Bush said. "I know here in Washington prevention means force. It doesn't mean force necessarily. In this case it means diplomacy."
Bush said he was aware of reports of the possible use of military action.
"It was just wild speculation, by the way. What you're reading is wild speculation, which is -- it's kind of a -- happens quite frequently here in the nation's capital," he said.