JERUSALEM – A senior Israeli cabinet minister on Monday said Iran must be forced to face an existential question over its nuclear drive: choose between getting an atomic bomb, or survival, nationalpost.com informs.
“We believe that in order to stop the Iranian military nuclear project, the regime in Tehran should face a dilemma – whether to have a bomb or to survive,” Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon told reporters in Jerusalem. Yaalon said however it was for the international community, rather than Israel, to apply what he called an “achievable” policy.
“We prefer that the international community led by the United States will bring about this dilemma in order to convince the regime to give up its military nuclear programme,” he said, stressing the need for political isolation and economic sanctions aimed at the banking and oil sectors.
Israel and much of the international community fear that Iran’s nuclear programme masks a drive for a weapons capability. Tehran denies any such ambition and says the programme is for peaceful civilian energy and medical purposes only.
“Our policy is very clear – by one way or another, the military nuclear project in Iran should be stopped,” Yaalon said, indicating it “might be 12 months, might be 24 months” until Iran was able to reach a military nuclear capability.
Meanwhile yesterday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country can “control” the U.S. drone aircraft that Iran claims it recently brought down, Venezuelan state TV reported, according to CNN. “There are people here who can control this spy plane, surely we can analyze this plane too,” Ahmadinejad told VTV. “The systems of Iran are as advanced as this system.”
President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States has asked Iran to return the drone aircraft that Iran claims it recently brought down in Iranian territory. Ahmadinejad comments to VTV seemed to suggest that Iran did not have plans to return the aircraft.