A senior European Union diplomat says the perfect time for Israel to strike Iranian nuclear installations ‘is between now and January 20’.
“A possible Israeli strike against Iran is not completely off the radar,” Turkish paper Hurriyet quoted the diplomat as saying.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday that Tel Aviv is ‘convinced that Iran continues to try to build a nuclear weapon’.
“We don’t rule out any option. We recommend others don’t rule out any option either,” added Barak, in regards to Obama’s plans for Iran.
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Tehran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), denies the Israeli claim, insisting that its enrichment program is solely directed at the civilian applications of the technology.
Israel, meanwhile, argues that the use of military force is a legitimate option in halting Iran’s nuclear progress.
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“Israelis would consider a move such as this before Bush and Cheney leave,” said the EU diplomat, adding that once Obama takes office, Israel’s chances of striking Iran would be off the agenda.
President-elect of the United States Barack Obama will replace George W. Bush on January 20. While campaigning for the White House, Obama vowed to engage Iran with direct diplomacy in order to resolve the disputed nuclear issue.
In his first post-election press conference on Friday, Senator Obama said the international community has to mount an effort to prevent ‘Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon’.
The UN nuclear watchdog, which has extensively monitored Iran’s nuclear activities since 2003, concedes that it is not in a position to fully clarify the nature of the Iranian nuclear program.
The agency, however, announced in its latest Iran report that its inspectors have not found any ‘components of a nuclear weapon’ or ‘related nuclear physics studies’ in the country.