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. Israeli deputy PM warns of Iranian nuclear threat
WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (AFP) Oct 24, 2006
Israel's deputy prime minister, Shaul Mofaz, warned here Monday of the threat to Israel and Western countries if Tehran has nuclear weapons.

"We discussed the Iranian issue which is a threat not only against the state of Israel but it is a threat against all the Western countries," Mofaz told reporters after meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Nicholas Burns, the State Department's number three, in charge of the Iranian nuclear issue.

"The moment that (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad will have nuclear capabilities in his hands, there will be a different world," said the Israeli deputy premier, who is also the transportation minister.

"After three years of dialogue ... this is the time for sanctions," he said as he was leaving the State Department building.

Asked about complaints that Israel has prevented Palestinian-Americans from travelling freely between the Jewish state and Palestinian areas, that Rice recently raised in a speech to an Arab-American association, Mofaz declined to comment.

By contrast, he criticized the Palestinian Authority's interior minister, Said Syiam of Hamas, who recently traveled to Iran where he met with Ahmadinejad.

"I believe that the support of Iran to the Hamas and the fact that they are looking for a foothold in the Palestinian Authority is a danger for the future of Israel," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appealed to the international community Monday to boycott Ahmadinejad, who predicted last week that Israel would collapse.

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