Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon has threatened Tehran with a military strike against its nuclear facilities in an attempt to force the country to abandon its nuclear energy program.
Speaking at the 2012 Herzliya Conference on Thursday, the Israeli official claimed that Iran’s nuclear facilities are “within striking distance” and added, “any facility defended by a human being can be penetrated."
This comes as earlier this month the US confessed it lacked the ability to destroy fortified nuclear facilities in Iran.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program. Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike against its atomic facilities.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council — under pressure from Washington and Tel Aviv — has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran. The United States and the European Union have also adopted unilateral measures against the Islamic Republic in an effort to deter Western investment in Iran’s energy sector.
Iran argues that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Ya’alon further stressed that Tel Aviv “must convince China, Russia and Turkey” to withdraw their support for Tehran over the US-engineered bans on Iran’s energy and banking sector.
On December 31, 2011, US President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions which seek to punish countries importing Iran’s oil or doing transaction with the country’s central bank.
In their latest meeting in Brussels on January 23, EU foreign ministers also imposed new sanctions on Iran which include a ban on purchasing oil from the country, a freeze on the assets of Iran’s Central Bank within the EU, and a ban on the sale of diamonds, gold and other precious metals to Iran.
Article: Israel May Attack Iran in April
The Washington Post claims that US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta believes there is a growing possibility that Israel will attack Iran as early as April.
An opinion article published on Thursday says the strike is likely to happen either in April, May, or June.
Panetta and the Pentagon both declined to comment on the report.
(Sources: Press TV, Al Jazeera, Agencies)