Israeli defense chief tells French parliament Iran at point of nuclear no-return (AFP-FRANCE PRESSE) PARIS, France 01/28/05 4:17 PM ET)
AFP} Agence France Presse
AFP} Agence France Presse Articles-Index-Top
PARIS (AFP) - Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has told French
lawmakers that Iran is at "the point of no-return" on building
nuclear weapons, according to a transcript of his remarks to the
Mofaz, who warned openly in London this week that Iran would not be
permitted to build a nuclear bomb, has in the past said that Israel
has operational plans in place for a strike against Iranian targets.
Mofaz told the French National Assembly´s defense commission that "he
ardently hoped that a recourse to military action would not be
necessary" in Iran, according the transcript of the Tuesday meeting.
But he said that to avoid this, there would have to be careful
inspections aimed at removing any ambiguity about the existence of a
military nuclear project.
Even if Iran recognized Israel´s existence, Mofaz said "the
possession of a nuclear weapon by an extremist regime is not
"The danger is great," he said. "The possession of non-conventional
weapons could allow Iran to carry out terrorist actions with complete
impunity and destabilize the free world."
Iran´s Revolutionary Guards warned earlier this week that any attack
against the country would be met with an "astonishing" retaliation.
The Islamic republic also responded to the Israeli allegations that
it was close to developing a nuclear weapon, saying the latest
accusations were designed to shift attention away from Israel´s own
weapons and its "terror" against Palestinians.
While Iran insists its nuclear activities are strictly peaceful,
Britain, France and Germany have been engaged in diplomatic efforts
to secure long-term guarantees that the Tehran regime will not seek
Mofaz, an outspoken and hawkish former army chief-of-staff who was
responsible for adopting increasingly tough measures against the
Palestinian intifada, told the defense commission that controls on
Iranian nuclear activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency
were "largely insufficient."
Mofaz accused Iran of doing "nothing but play for time" in order to
build up its production of enriched uranium.
He said the United States and the European Union should take the
matter to the United Nations Security Council "so that a a more
substantial control can be put in place and sanctions are
Mofaz said Washington, as the world´s super-power, needed to put
pressure on Europe in a joint attempt "to stop and not merely retard
the Iranian program."
On Monday, President George W. Bush said he could not rule out using
force if Iran failed to rein in its nuclear plans. Vice President
Dick Cheney also warned that Israel might launch a pre-emptive strike
on its own to shut down Iran´s nuclear program. (Copyright © 2005
Agence France Presse. 01/28/05)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY