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News number: 8711061079

14:21 | 2009-01-25

Defence

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Israel Renews Threats against Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tel Aviv renewed its threats of military action against Iran following its deadly military offensive in Gaza, which claimed over 1400 lives.



In a Saturday night meeting with Quartet envoy Tony Blair, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak claimed that Iran's nuclear program threaten the stability of the region.

Iran's enrichment program is a threat for the stability of the Middle East and the whole world. There is still time for sanctions and for the free countries of the world to implement economic sanctions against Iran," said Barak.

Barak said that Israel was not taking any option off the table with regard to a military attack against Iran, although it needs to cooperate with, Russia and China.

"Cooperation with different countries especially with Russia and China is necessary in light of the threat. This, however, does not take any options off the table," Barak said, AFP reported.

Barak was referring to the West's failure to come to an agreement with Moscow and Beijing about imposing tougher sanctions against Iran in the last UN Security Council resolution passed on Iran.

Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.

Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Speculation that Israel may bomb Iran rose after a military exercise by the Zionist regime earlier this year. In early June, Israel conducted a military maneuver over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece in preparation, according to Pentagon officials, for an aerial bombardment of Iranian nuclear facilities.

Over 100 Israeli F-16s and F-15s partook in the exercise, which spanned some 900 miles, roughly the distance between their airfields and a nuclear enrichment facility in the central Iranian city of Natanz.

The United States has also always stressed that military action is among its main options on the table.

In response, Iran has warned it could close the strategic Strait of Hormoz if it became the target of a military attack over its nuclear program.

Strait of Hormoz, the entrance to the strategic Persian Gulf waterway, is a major oil shipping route.

Intensified threats by Tel Aviv and Washington of military action against Iran are in direct opposition to a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies which endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear plans and activities.

Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head - one in November and the other one in February - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions or launch military attack on Iran seems to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran's cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran's nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

The UN nuclear watchdog has also carried out at least 14 surprise inspections of Iran's nuclear sites so far, but found nothing to support West's allegations.

Following the said reports by the US and international bodies, many world states have called the UN Security Council pressure against Tehran unjustified, demanding that Iran's case must be normalized and returned from the UNSC to the IAEA.

Meantime, a recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a prestigious American think tank, found that a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities "is unlikely" to delay the country's program.

The ISIS study also cautioned that an attack against Iran would backfire by compelling the country to acquire nuclear weaponry.