Israeli ministers: Election won´t affect Iran (AP) Associated Press) By IAN DEITCH JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 05/02/12 3:07 pm ET)
AP} ASSOCIATED PRESS
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JERUSALEM – Two top Israeli security officials said Wednesday that
the prospect of early national elections will have no influence over
a decision over whether to strike Iranian nuclear sites.
Both Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe
Yaalon said in published comments on Wednesday that policy toward
Iran will be based solely on strategic interests.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled this week that he may call
parliamentary elections a year ahead of schedule — casting additional
uncertainty over any Israeli military plans.
Israel considers Iran a threat to its existence because of its
nuclear and missile development programs, frequent reference to
Israel´s destruction by Iranian leaders and Iran´s support of violent
anti-Israel groups in Lebanon and Gaza.
Israel has been warning for years that Iran is trying to construct
nuclear bombs. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful
Both Barak and Netanyahu have often hinted at an Israeli military
strike on Iran´s nuclear facilities, but no specific threats have
been made, and some believe the talk is meant only as pressure.
Israeli media reported Wednesday that the election would be set for
"The election would have no affect on considerations on the
professional level regarding the Iranian issue," Barak said on his
Facebook page in answer to questions from the public.
Echoing Barak´s sentiments was Deputy Prime Minster Moshe
Yaalon. "The election will not be a consideration in the Iranian
issue. If we need to make decisions we will make them," he told the
There has been a precedent to big military offensive prior to an
Prime Minister Menachem Begin ordered a daring Israeli airstrike on
an unfinished Iraqi nuclear in 1981 just a few weeks before Israelis
went to the polls. His Likud Party won that election. Though that
attack successfully destroyed the Iraqi reactor, critics charged that
Begin ordered the raid to win votes.
An Israeli strike on Iran´s nuclear facilities now would likely
trigger the same charges. In any event, success of such an Israeli
strike is far from guaranteed, and the risk is far greater.
Iran is believed to have multiple well guarded underground nuclear
sites. An Israeli attack would require that almost all of its fleet
fly over hostile countries and face formidable Iranian defense
Also, an Israeli attack on Iran would likely trigger punishing
retaliation from Iran itself and its proxies on Israel´s borders —
Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza — both armed with thousands of
Israel is also under international pressure not to act militarily.
The U.S want Israel to give sanctions imposed on Iran more time.
With debates of an attack being aired publicly Israel has lost the
element of surprise, a key to the 1981 air raid´s success.
Barak warned earlier this week that as long as Iran poses a threat to
Israel with its nuclear program, an Israeli strike remains an option.
"It would be complicated with certain associated risks. But a radical
Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons would be far more
dangerous both for the region and, indeed, the world," he said. (©
2012 The Associated Press 05/02/12)
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