PM: Iranian nuclear threat dwarfs danger from Sinai

Netanyahu says Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon; Vice Premier Silvan Shalom calls for more sanctions; Former FADC chairman says US intelligence may not have info "in time."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 12, 2012 12:06
2 minute read.
Interior of Bushehr nuclear plant

Interior of Bushehr nuclear plant 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer Iran)

 
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The threat of a nuclear-armed Iran dwarfs all the threats emanating from Sinai, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at Sunday's cabinet meeting.

"Every threat against the home front is dwarfed by one threat. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon," Netanyahu said.

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The comments come amid a flurry of commentary and speculation from current and former government officials on how Israel should deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions, many of them voicing criticism at the open discussion of a possible military strike.

Playing down the imminence of such an attack, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom called for imposing stricter sanctions against Iran

In a Sunday interview with Army Radio, Shalom said "At this time we can bring the US to accept the right choices, and that is to impose even stricter sanctions that are made to subdue and topple the Iranian regime and perhaps bring it to abandon its nuclear program."

On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a press briefing that a military strike could wait while the West pursues diplomatic options, in part because "we feel confident that we would be able to detect a break-out move by Iran towards the acquisition of a nuclear weapon."

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Former Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi responded on Sunday, telling Israel Radio that there is no certainty that intelligence agencies will discover Iranian nuclear advancements in time, and that essential information may only be uncovered after the fact.

Hanegbi went on to condemn the public debate on a possible military strike, saying that the flood of headlines and articles in the media are a serious betrayal by those trying to tie the government's hands.

Meanwhile, Iran announced that it will host a meeting on promoting "the issue of Palestine and the Intifada" and "liberating the Holy Qods" (Jerusalem), the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Sunday.

According to IRNA, the meeting on the "Islamic Awakening and liberation of Palestine" on Monday ahead of 'Qods Day' ('Jerusalem Day'), an annual Iranian anti-Zionist event organized by the Organization of the Culture and Islamic Communication, will include high-ranking Iranian officials, ambassadors from Islamic countries and Palestinian groups.

It is intended to promote ideas on "the influence of the Islamic Awakening on the issue of Palestine and the Intifada" and "focus on ways to attain the ultimate goal of liberating the Holy Qods which embodies the dignity of the world Muslims."

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