President Bush has called on Iraqi leaders to put aside their differences and form a new national unity government.
In the first in a series of speeches intended to boost public support for the war in Iraq, Mr. Bush said the February 22nd bombing of a Shi'ite mosque could have led to civil war. He said Iraq and its fledgling security forces were all tested, and the Iraqi people have displayed a strong will to move towards peace.
The president also directly linked Iran to the deadly roadside bombings against U.S. forces in Iraq. He said coalition forces have seized powerful explosives that were clearly produced in Iran. Mr. Bush's new public relations offensive comes amid rising discontent with his handling of the war in Iraq. In a new poll (compiled by the Associated Press and Ipsos), nearly four in five Americans believe civil war will break out in Iraq.