Israel urges more pressure on Iran

Israel's top military commander has said all diplomatic efforts should be exhausted before considering more drastic measures to stop Iran's nuclear programme.

    The US and Israel oppose Iran's use of nuclear power

    Army chief of staff General Moshe Yaalon said Israel was

    concerned about intelligence assessments that Tehran could

    build an atomic bomb by 2007.

    "Political pressure certainly has potential, just as it

    worked on Libya. And this must be exhausted first of all, in my

    view," he said. 

       

    Although Tel Aviv ordered the bombing of Iraq's Osiraq reactor in 1981, Yaalon said Israel does "not necessarily" have to resort to military

    action to counter the alleged threat.

     

    Iranian denial

     

    But Iran has denied accusations that it is using a civilian

    atomic programme to hide efforts to develop nuclear arms.

     

    It

    argues that its atomic ambitions are limited to generating

    electricity and that it has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Additional Protocol that allows for unannounced inspections by UN officials.

     

    Israel has not signed the NPT and refuses to confirm if it possesses about 200 nuclear warheads, as international organisations estimate.

     

    On Monday, Iran vowed harsh retaliation if its nuclear facilities were attacked by Israeli forces.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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