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'All options' on table on Iran: Israel president

Contradicting recent reports in Israeli press, Shimon Peres says Tel Aviv is keeping 'all options' on table when it comes to Iran's nuclear programme

AFP , Thursday 23 Feb 2012
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Israeli President Shimon Peres warned on Thursday that the self-proclaimed Jewish state was keeping "all options" on the table on the issue of Iran's nuclear activities.

"The state of Israel is a sovereign state; it has the right and capacity to defend [itself] against any threat," the Israeli leader said in remarks broadcast on military radio.

"When we say that all options are on the table, we really mean it," he added.

Peres, who made the remarks in an address to a meeting of the Conference of Presidents grouping US Jewish groups, denied a front page report in Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Thursday that reported that he was opposed to an attack on Iran.

The report said that Peres would tell US President Barack Obama on a visit next month that he was opposed to an Israeli attack on Iran in the near future.

"As far as I'm concerned, I never in my life told anybody before a meeting with such a leader what I'm going to tell him," he said.

Peres's comments come amid continuing speculation about the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, which much of the international community believes is using its nuclear programme to mask a weapons drive.

Tehran denies these charges, saying its nuclear programme is for peaceful medical and energy purposes only.

But the international community has imposed increasingly tough sanctions on Iran and Israel has regularly warned that it retains the option of a military strike against the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.

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