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'All options on table' for action against Iran: Israel

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says 'all options on the table' including the option of military action against Iran, believing that the international community could manage Tehran's nuclear programme

AFP, Friday 2 Mar 2012
Photo of Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Photo:Reuters)
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Israel is keeping the option of military action against Iran open if the international community does not halt its suspected nuclear weapons drive, Foreign Minister Avidgor Lieberman said Friday.

"We are still waiting. We want to believe that the international community will be able to handle this threat... But again we keep all options on the table," Lieberman said when asked about the possibility of a strike on Iran.

"Our expectation from the international community is to take all necessary steps to stop the Iranian aggressive foreign policy, including its nuclear ambitions," Lieberman said.

His comments came ahead of a meeting next Monday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama at the White House which will focus on Iran's nuclear activities.

Israel and the West suspect Iran's nuclear programme is aimed at producing the atomic bomb but Tehran insists it is for entirely peaceful purposes.

The White House warned Wednesday that any military action against Iran would create "greater instability" that could threaten the safety of Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Washington and other nations have warned Israel against launching a pre-emptive strike on Iran and called instead to allow time for a regime of international sanctions to kick in.

"The sanctions are a right step in the right direction but despite the sanctions we do not see any readiness from the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear ambitions," Lieberman said.

He also described the situation in neighbouring Syria as "unacceptable", voicing hope that the international community would step in to stop the "barbarian behaviour of (Syria's) own leaders."

"We think first of all that it is necessary to stop this bloodshed, this killing machine," Lieberman said.

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