Iran calls Israeli threats “childish behaviour”
Al Jazeera | January 23, 2006
“Israel knows quite well what severe consequences such a mistake would have,” Asefi said
“These kind of efforts to put pressure on Iran are childish behaviour from the Israeli side,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi told reporters in Teheran.
“Israel knows quite well what severe consequences such a mistake (military action) would have,” the Iranian spokesman said.
Speaking at Herzliya Conference Saturday, Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz hinted that Israel is preparing for military action to stop Iran's NUCLEAR PROGRAM.
"Israel will not be able to accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing," Mofaz said.
"I believe everyone present here understand the extent to which the combination of an extremist regime with long-range ballistic capability, ongoing efforts to obtain NUCLEAR WEAPONS and support in terror constitutes a danger not only to Israel, but to the entire world," Mofaz stated. "While Israel's strategic state is much better today in terms of our international standing and the relations with the United States, the country faces some imminent threats such as Iran's "NUCLEAR ARMAMENT" and the strengthening of terror. This is why 2006 will be a year of struggle, not a year of resolutions," Ynet news quoted Mofaz as saying.
However, the Israeli minister stopped short of overtly threatening the Islamic Republic with a military strike against it
Mofaz referred to a recent meeting between the new Iranian President MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD and his Syrian counterpart BASHAR AL-ASSAD as "the summit of terror," and called the two leaders "representatives of the past," repeating claims that Iran is not only a menace to Israel, but to the entire world.
"In the coming years we need to boost the strategic coordination with the U.S. and Europe, as well as with the peaceful countries Egypt and Jordan. Jihad draws near to us, and so we must combine efforts with the countries of the West," the defense minister explained.
Mofaz hailed as "correct policy at this time" UNSC sanctions against Iran.
Meanwhile and in an interview published Saturday, Franz Josef Jung, Germany's defense minister, stated that there’s still a chance for solving the standoff over Iran’s NUCLEAR PROGRAM through diplomacy. But he argued that "all options" should remain open.
Asked by the Bild am Sonntag weekly whether the threat of a military solution should remain in place, the German official answered: "Yes, we need all options."
Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac said that his country was prepared to respond with nuclear weapons against any state-sponsored terrorist attack.
Commenting on the French President’s remarks, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said they reflected the true intentions of NUCLEAR NATIONS, IRNA reported Sunday.
"The French president uncovered the covert intentions of nuclear powers in using this lever (nuclear weapons) to determine political games," Hamid Reza Asefi was quoted as saying.
• “Demilitarize the Palestinian territory “
Speaking at the sixth annual Herzliya Conference on the Balance of Israel’s National Security, Mofaz moreover stressed that if no partner is found, Israel needs to "establish defensible borders, strengthen settlement blocs, keep Jerusalem undivided, including its surrounding area, and demilitarize the Palestinian territory."
"If we find a legitimate and effective partner, we should move forward according to the ROAD MAP peace plan, while understanding there are stages on the way to a permanent agreement. However, if it turns out there is no partner, Israel needs to take its destiny into its own hands," Mofaz said, adding that the future of the so-called ROAD MAP peace plan depended on Israel's partner.