Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Israel fears repercussions of Iran war: Ex-EU foreign policy chief

"Former European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana says confusion hangs over Israel about a military strike against Iran as Tel Aviv flinches from such a venture due to its repercussions.

“In Israel, there is undoubtedly a great fear in connection with Iran. But there is disagreement about what to do about it,” Solana said.

The Israelis know that the consequences of military action are unclear and the move could merely exacerbate the situation, he pointed out.

Solana added that the debate has provoked controversy among politicians, military officers and civilians in Israel.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned ministers from his center-right Likud political party to avoid making statements on a possible military attack against Iran, saying such remarks could be damaging to Israel.

Later in the day, US President Barack Obama warned against the serious risks of a military campaign against Iran and underlined diplomacy as the favored solution to the impasse over Tehran’s nuclear issue.

The remarks come on the heels of a warning by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week, saying there is a strong possibility that Israel will launch an attack on Iran in April, May, or June 2012.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program. Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike against its atomic facilities.

Iran refutes the Western allegations and argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

This is while the Israeli regime is widely known to possess between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads. Furthermore, Tel Aviv refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections and rejects any international nuclear regulatory agreements."

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