International pressure must stop Iran's nuclear ambitions: Israeli general
JERUSALEM (AFP) Jul 28, 2004
Iran's nuclear ambitions in the military area should be stopped by international pressure, Israeli army chief General Moshe Yaalon said Tuesday.

"A military operation is not absolutely necessary to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities," Yaalon said on public television. "If we look at Libya we can see that international pressure can be very effective."

Libya, long considered a 'rogue' state by Washington, established diplomatic relations with the United States last month after renouncing its quest for weapons of mass destruction.

Yaalon said that any Iranian nuclear weapons should not only be of concern to Israel but also to the United States, Europe and moderate Arab countries.

Tehran had broken all the rules when it went back on a commitment to suspend its production of nuclear centrifuge equipment which can be used in the production of enriched uranium, which in turn is needed in the production of an atomic bomb, he added.

"Israel is taking the risk that Iran acquires a nuclear capability very seriously," said Yaalon after a spokesman for Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying Monday that Iran would wipe Israel "off the face of the earth" if it dared to attack the Islamic republic's nuclear facilities.

The public relations head of the Revolutionary Guards, Commander Seyed Masood Jazayeri, asserted that Iran would not initiate a conflict, but in retaliation to any attack has proved itself to be "harsh, assertive, hard-hitting and destructive."