Israel says serious about ‘any option’ to curb Iran
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview broadcast on Wednesday there was still time for diplomacy to curb Iran’s nuclear programme but that Israel was serious about using ‘any option’ if that failed.
‘The time is still for diplomacy and sanctions, but much more effective sanctions,’ Barak said in an interview with Al Jazeera television.
‘We keep saying that we do not remove any option from the table. I propose to others not to remove any option from the table as well. But when we say it, we mean it,’ he added.
Israel, which is thought to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal, believes Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2010 and says an Iranian nuclear weapon would threaten the existence of the Jewish state.
Oil-rich Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and says it is enriching uranium only for use in generating electricity.
Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, a candidate in the race to replace Ehud Olmert as prime minister, stoked tensions in June by saying that war with Iran could be ‘unavoidable’.