Thursday, March 09, 2006

Israel Will Attack Iran

If the UN Security Council is incapable of taking action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself, Israel’s defense minister said yesterday. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was asked whether Israel was ready to use military action if the Security Council proved unable to act against what Israel and the West believe is a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program.

“My answer to this question is that the state of Israel has the right give all the security that is needed to the people in Israel. We have to defend ourselves,” Mofaz told Reuters after a meeting with his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung.

The Iranian delegation to an IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna issued a statement earlier warning that the United States could feel “harm and pain” if the Security Council took up the issue of Tehran’s nuclear fuel research and vowed never to abandon its atomic program.

“So if the United States wishes to choose that path, let the ball roll,” Tehran national security official Javad Vaeedi said.

Security Council diplomats said it would probably start debating Iran next week and US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said it would be Monday or Tuesday. Iran, the world’s No. 4 oil provider, also said it would review its oil export policy should the council tackle its case. “The United States may have the power to cause harm and pain but it is also susceptible to harm and pain,” Vaeedi said.

Asked about Iran’s warning, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in New Orleans: “Provocative statements and actions only further isolate Iran from the rest of the world.”


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