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Israel not to act alone against Iran: Olmert
www.chinaview.cn 2006-03-12 05:59:45

    JERUSALEM, March 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Israel will remain as a partner of an international coalition against a nuclear Iran, Israeli Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Israel Radio Saturday, hinting that Israel would not take military actions alone.

    "In the end, we want to cause the international community to prevent the Iranians from developing non-conventional capabilities," Olmert said.

    Olmert made the remarks after former Israel Defense Forces chief Moshe Ya'alon commented two days earlier that Israel and the West have the ability to launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear program.

    Ya'alon's comments met strong criticism, blaming that he was drawing unnecessary attention to Israel's capabilities.

    Briefing a Washington think tank on Thursday, Ya'alon said that Israel definitely has a military option to counter the Iranian nuclear threat, adding that such a fact must be taken into consideration.

    Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Friday that Ya'alon's comments were "unnecessary", warning that high-profile officials who carry extensive information should take caution in their words and actions.

    Ya'alon responded that his intention was to refute the claim that the West has no military option to deter Tehran, but not to disclose some secrets of the Israeli military.

    Ya'alon said that a strike on Iran could delay its nuclear program by several years and the intervening years until Tehran got its program back on track could see a regime change in Iran.

    The former Israeli army chief believed that such a strike was feasible, though it would be difficult to carry out from a military perspective as Iran's nuclear facilities are spread out.

    Ya'alon said that striking Iran would require more than one single attack and should be carried out in different ways, not just from the air.

    Meanwhile, Ya'alon warned that Iran would clearly hit back hard in the event of such an attack.

    Iran has been engaged in rounds of negotiations with the West on its controversial nuclear program.

    It vowed on Thursday that Tehran would never give in over its nuclear rights even after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) handed over its nuclear file to the UN Security Council on Wednesday. Enditem

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