Danny Ayalon 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Once the Iranian economy is severely damaged, Tehran will be less likely to take risks that could lead to a regional conflict, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Monday.
Iran's economy has suffered under the weight of far-reaching sanctions, cast on Iran by Western nations and the United Nations over Tehran's failure to halt its nuclear program, and reveal some of the more covert elements of its nuclearization to international inspectors.
"We must remember that when all is said and done, the [Iranian] government is somewhat rational," Ayalon told the convention, called "Israel in the 21st Century."
"And even if it continues its nuclear buildup, one cannot forget what President [Barack] Obama said, that all options are on the table," the deputy foreign minister said.
Still, Ayalon said that chances an all-out war will break out over Iran's nuclearization is less likely today.
Iran and six world powers will meet in Turkey on April 13-14 for a round of talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.
The previous such meeting took place in Istanbul in January 2011, when the two sides failed even to agree on an agenda.
Western diplomats and analysts say that getting Tehran to stop the higher-level uranium enrichment it started two years ago will be a priority at the April talks.
Iran says it has a sovereign right to peaceful nuclear technology and has repeatedly rejected UN resolutions calling for a suspension of all enrichment.Reuters contributed to this report