President Bush says he believes the stand-off with Iran over its nuclear program can be resolved diplomatically.

In an interview with German television (RTL and N-TV), Mr. Bush said working out the problem diplomatically will be an important topic when he meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at his Texas ranch in the coming days.

But Mr. Bush also said that if Iran wants to see World War III, a way to do it, he said, is to attack Israel with a nuclear weapon. The interview took place Tuesday at the White House. The White House released the transcript Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country reached a key nuclear target of operating 3,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium. He spoke at a rally in the eastern Iranian city of Birjand.

Western experts say three thousand centrifuges operating in ideal conditions could possibly make enough enriched uranium for an atomic bomb in about a year.

The United States and other Western nations accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons -- a charge Tehran denies.

Six world powers have agreed to move forward later this month on a third set of sanctions against Iran if it does not resolve the IAEA's concerns about its sensitive nuclear work.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.