Israel may have to go it alone on Iran: report
Monday, April 17, 2006 - C2005 IranMania.com
LONDON, April 17 (IranMania) - The head of the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, poised to enter the next cabinet, said Monday that Israel may have to take its own pre-emptive action to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, AFP reported.
Avigdor Lieberman (pictured) said Iran's nuclear programme "represents an existential threat for Israel which will oblige us to take unilateral action if the international community does nothing to stop it".
"The only difference between the aspirations of the madmen of the current regime in Tehran and Hitler is that their (Iranian) threat is more concrete," he added on Israeli radio.
The crisis over Iran's nuclear ambitions has worsened over the past week following the regime's announcement that its scientists managed to enrich uranium to the level needed to make reactor fuel. Iran insists its programme is strictly peaceful, but enrichment technology can also be extended to make atomic weapons.
Israel has come to view Iran as its chief enemy, alarmed by comments by hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who on Friday voiced "serious doubts" over the Nazi Holocaust and predicted the "elimination" of the Jewish state.
Acting premier Ehud Olmert has said that the Jewish state would never allow anyone who threatened its existence to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
He has played down talk, however, of launching its own pre-emptive strike against Iran, saying a concerted diplomatic drive by the international community was the key to resolving the situation.
In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's French-built Osirak nuclear reactor. The Jewish state is also believed to have its own nuclear arsenal of an estimated 200 warheads, making it the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East.
Lieberman, however, expressed grave scepticism that the international community would bring the regime in Tehran to heel and urged Israel to "learn the lessons of World War II and act on its own" if necessary.
"Europe is too weak, as it was when confronted by Nazism in the 1930s, while the US administration is suffering from a fall in the popularity of President Bush as a result of the complications for the Americans in Iraq," he added.