Monday, Sept 21st, 2009
Israel has not given up the option of a military response to Tehran’s nuclear programme, senior officials said on Monday, after Russia’s president said his Israeli counterpart assured him it would not attack Iran.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was asked by Reuters if that comment by Israeli President Shimon Peres, as reported on Sunday by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, was a guarantee there would be no Israeli strike on Iran.
Ayalon replied: “It is certainly not a guarantee.
“I don’t think that, with all due respect, the Russian president is authorised to speak for Israel and certainly we have not taken any option off the table.”
Echoing that, the chief-of-staff of Israel’s armed forces, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, later told Army Radio when pressed on whether Israel could attack Iran: “Israel has the right to defend itself and all options are on the table.”