Tags: israel | iran | strike

Minister: Israel Must Prepare to Strike Iran

Tuesday, 17 Mar 2009 09:30 AM

By Jim Meyers

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said that his military must prepare for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities if diplomatic efforts to halt the program fail.

During a visit to Washington, D.C., on Monday, Ashkenazi met with Dennis Ross, the designated American envoy to the Persian Gulf, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the Iranian issue.

Ashkenazi told Ross that Israel would not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran, and that while a diplomatic approach should be taken first, Israel must also “prepare for other possibilities,” the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported.

Ashkenazi also met during his trip to the U.S. with Gen. James Jones, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.

The Jerusalem Post reported earlier this month that Israeli leaders are “seriously considering” a unilateral strike on Iran, likely to occur this year, to destroy its nuclear weapons facilities.

And former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nancy Soderberg, said the timetable for an Israeli strike might be moved up if Israel believed Russia was going to follow through on its pledge to supply Iran with a surface-to-air missile system that would greatly complicate an Israeli attack.

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