March 16, 2012
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has told the Chinese that “all options are on the table” for Iran, in other words Israel reserves the “right” to attack Iran despite the fact there is no evidence the Islamic country is developing nuclear weapons.
China is a major energy trading partner with Iran. It opposes unilateral sanctions and would like to see a negotiated solution to the less than credible claims by Israel and the United States that Iran is working toward developing an atomic weapon.
“I think it’s our right to protect ourselves, to defend ourselves,” Liberman said during the high-level meetings. “As I mentioned, we keep all options on the table.”
Liberman said “it’s crucial to explain our position to our Chinese partners.”
Avigdor Liberman is the founder of Yisrael Beiteinu, a nationalist party following the political philosophy of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the Revisionist Zionist leader. In 2006, Liberman became the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs, a newly created position concentrating on the alleged strategic threat from Iran. He believes the unsubstantiated “nuclear threat” posed by Iran is “the biggest threat facing the Jewish people since the Second World War.”
Liberman is currently the swing man who casts the deciding ballot on any vote taken by Israel’s Likud government in regard to Iran. According to Haaretz, Israel has yet to make a final decision on Iran. It is said Liberman’s position on the “Iranian issue remains a mystery” despite his past comments that Iran poses a threat at least as great as the Holocaust.
The Liberman visit follows Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s talks in the United States. Netanyahu was able during that trip to have Obama declare that Israel has the “right” to attack Iran, although he said the U.S. would rather see a negotiated settlement in the dispute. “I think that there’s time for diplomacy and in any case I am not taking any options off the table, including a military option,” Obama said following the meeting.
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