Shimon Peres 311.
(photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
President Shimon Peres on Friday said that he believes Israel is closer to utilizing the military option in dealing with Iran's nuclear program than it is to finding a diplomatic solution to the threat.
In an interview with Channel 2, the president suggested that the media speculation about a potential attack on Iran may have some basis in truth. "Intelligence services in many countries are looking at the clock and warning their leaders that not much time remains. I do not know if these world leaders will act on this advice."
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Peres said that Iran could be as close as six months from becoming nuclear-armed and it is Israel's role to warn the world of the danger. He suggested that the speculation about an attack on Iran may be a way of reminding the world of the Iranian threat.
Earlier on Friday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said
that Israel's position on Iran has not changed, despite recent Israeli media reports of a possible strike on Iran.
Next week, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations
nuclear watchdog, is expected to release a report that includes evidence
of Iranian nuclear research which makes little sense if not weapons
related, Western diplomats said. The report, however, is expected to
stop short of declaring outright that Iran is attempting to develop
"I propose we wait and see the IAEA report," Barak said, adding that he
believes that if the UN nuclear watchdog will be "daring enough to say
bluntly what they know about [Iran's] nuclear program," the world will
understand the Iranian threat is international.
Speaking in an interview with Stephen Sakur on the BBC, the defense
minister repeated Israel's position that Iran must be prevented from
obtaining nuclear weapons and that no options should be taken off the
table to that end.Meanwhile on Friday
French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned Iran's nuclear program and
said France would not stand idly by "if Israel's existence were
threatened." Sarkozy was speaking at a G20 summit of world leaders .
"Iran's behavior and this obssessional desire to acquire nuclear
military (capability) is in violation of all international rules, and
France condemns firmly the lack of respect for these rules," he said in
the French Riviera resort of Cannes. Reuters contributed to this report
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