Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Friday issued a thinly veiled call for the United States not to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran because of its nuclear ambitions.
"We don’t rule out any option. We recommend others don’t rule out any option either," Barak told journalists after talks with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
One of those options could include a military strike.
Israel is convinced Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. Barak says he delivered that message to Rice during their meeting. "Iran continues to cheat everybody by holding negotiations on the control of such weapons," Barak said.
Tehran denies it wants nuclear weapons, and says its atomic project is purely peaceful.
Israel is concerned over President-elect Obama’s willingness to engage Iran in dialogue. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly has called for Israel’s destruction.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said possible U.S. talks with Iran may be problematic, highlighting possible disagreements with a Barack Obama administration.
"Dialogue at this point may be interpreted as a sign of weakness. I think that premature dialogue at a time where Iran thinks that the world has given up on sanctions may be problematic," she said.
Obama warned during a visit to Israel in July that a nuclear Iran would pose a "grave threat," but he also reiterated his openness to meeting Tehran’s representatives if the conditions were appropriate.
Israel is widely considered to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East, although it has never officially confirmed nor denied having such weapons.
(Agencies via Alarabiya.net)