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. 'All options on table' to stop nuclear Iran: Israel
JERUSALEM, Jan 10 (AFP) Jan 10, 2008
Israel is keeping all options on the table if economic and diplomatic pressure fails to halt archfoe Iran's nuclear programme, Israel's ambassador to the United States said on Thursday.

"In assessing the threat from Iran we see in sync and think similarly. Both America and Israel understand the severity of the threat, the implication of the threat if it grows," Israel's US Ambassador Sallai Meridor said.

He spoke a day after visiting US President George W. Bush met Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem at the start of his regional visit for talks that focused on the Islamic republic.

"Both the US and Israel would prefer seeing this threat removed through diplomatic-economic means without any need to take other steps," he said.

Asked if a military strike was a realistic option, Meridor said "both the US and Israel haven't removed any option from the table,"

"All options are on the table, not only in the future. They are on the table if we get to the point, and I hope we don't get to the point, that diplomactic and economic preferred alternatives will fail to produce the hoped for results."

International support for new sanctions on Iran has been waning since a US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in early December said that the Islamic republic had halted a nuclear weapons programme in 2003.

Israel considers the Islamic republic its main regional threat in the wake of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated statements for it to be wiped off the map.

Widely considered to be the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, Israel along with the US suspects that Tehran's nuclear programme is a cover for developing atomic weapons, a charge Iran denies.

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