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. Israel doubts EU will stop Iran nuclear drive
JERUSALEM (AFP) May 11, 2005
Israel's Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said Wednesday he doubted that talks between Iran and the European Union would stop Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

"I do not think the dialogue taken on by the European troika can halt Iran's course towards atomic weapons," Mofaz told public television, referring to Britain, France and Germany, which are locked in talks with Tehran.

The Islamic republic has appeared determined to back away from a November 2004 deal with the three EU powers and end its suspension of some nuclear activities linked to the sensitive process of enriching uranium.

What would stop the Iranians, Mofaz said, would be for the UN Security Council to pass sanctions against Tehran and implement "precise and detailed checks" of Iranian nuclear installations.

As the world's only superpower, the United States had a "duty" to see the matter brought before the Security Council, Mofaz continued, saying Israel was sharing intelligence with Washington and other governments over Iran.

"It is a vital matter for Israel. This is a threat not only against our country but against the entire free world," added Mofaz, as his nation marked remembrance day to honour the thousands of soldiers killed in Israel's wars.

On March 22, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel had no intention of launching a strike against Iranian nuclear installations.

The United States and Israel both accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons -- a charge firmly denied by Tehran.

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