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. Israel's Peres says no to military option on Iran issue
JERUSALEM, April 16 (AFP) Apr 16, 2009
Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Thursday that there was no military solution to arch-foe Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

"The solution in Iran is not a military one," Peres was quoted by his office as telling visiting US Middle East envoy George Mitchell.

Over the past several years Israeli officials have repeatedly warned that all options were possible in resolving the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme.

Israel, widely considered to be the Middle East's sole nuclear armed power, and the United States suspect the Islamic Republic of using the programme to develop atomic weapons, a charge that Tehran has repeatedly denied.

The Jewish state considers Tehran to be its arch-enemy because of repeated calls by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Israel to be wiped off the map.

New Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that the threat posed by Iran constituted the biggest threat to Israel's existence since its creation 61 years ago.

Last week US Vice President Joe Biden said Netanyahu's cabinet would be "ill-advised" to attack Iran, but stressed it was unlikely to do so.

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