(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel on Tuesday said Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon will lead a high-level delegation next week to China, the most prominent holdout against tough sanctions on Iran.
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer will also travel with the delegation, expected to discuss issues shared by both nations.
With Russia showing signs of softening its position, China remains the only major UN Security Council member resisting further sanctions.
On Saturday, Ambassador to the US Michael Oren revealed that as part of Jerusalem's ongoing efforts to scuttle the Iranian nuclear weapons program, an Israeli delegation will be sent to Beijing
“We are not too late,” Oren said in an interview with Channel 10. “We are in the thick of the process, both on the security and international fronts. Soon, an Israeli delegation will travel to China, but the big question is whether the Chinese will take part in this battle over sanctions.”
Earlier Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that Iran will cut off the hands of anyone who attacks the country.
"No power can harm Iran ... The Iranian nation will chop off the hands from the arm of any attacker from any part of the world," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech in eastern Khorasan-e Jonubi province, according to a Reuters translation.
He denied that Iran was developing nuclear weapons.
Ahmadinejad went on to accuse Israel of being directly responsible for the January assassination of Hamas terror chief Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.
It comes a day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continued to publicly urge the world to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, even as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that if Iran can’t have nuclear weapons, Israel should not be able to have them either.
An International Atomic Energy Agency report released last week suggested that Iran may be developing a nuclear warhead.