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(photo credit: Knesset Web site)
Calling Iran the single greatest existential threat to Israel, former minister Dan Meridor, author of the nation's defense doctrine, called on ministers and other government officials Thursday to refrain from threatening Teheran.
"Talk is unnecessary since it does not help Israel's situation," Meridor told The Jerusalem Post.
He was scheduled to travel to Washington over the weekend to attend the annual Saban Forum.
"Instead of talking, we need to sit and contemplate quietly how to confront this threat. This is a serious issue," he said.
In April, a committee headed by Meridor presented a new defense doctrine to then-defense minister Shaul Mofaz. The report predicted an escalation in low-intensity conflicts, like the war this past summer with Hizbullah, and the use of nonconventional weapons in the Middle East.
Meridor has also presented the 250-page report to the IDF General Staff and to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who plans to bring the doctrine to the cabinet for approval in the coming weeks.
While Meridor refused to give examples of government officials who acted negligently in threatening Teheran, he did hint at Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, who told the Post last month that Israel needed to be ready to launch a preemptive strike against Iran.
While Israel "was not advocating Israeli preemptive military action against Iran," Sneh said, "Even the last resort is sometimes the only resort."
Meridor said threats and "tough Israeli talk" played into Teheran's hands. "Iran wants to stand at the forefront of a bloc of Islamic countries in the region," he said. "By speaking this way, Israeli officials are in effect helping to put them there."
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