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Iran Heading Into Abyss Over Nuclear Policy

Israel's chief of staff Dan Halutz.

Jerusalem (AFP) Jan 09, 2006
Israel's chief of staff Dan Halutz accused Iran on Monday of driving itself to the brink of the abyss by deciding to resume ultra-sensitive nuclear research, public radio reported.

"The Tehran government is pursuing a policy of going to the brink of the abyss and if it doesn't take care, it could fall in," Halutz was quoted as saying by the radio.

"International pressure on Iran proves that (its nuclear activities) are not only Israel's problem," the radio reported him as saying.

Israeli politicians and military commanders have recently stepped up warnings about Iran's nuclear programme.

The Jewish state and the United States accuse Tehran of trying to develop a nuclear arsenal. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear activities are merely designed to meet energy needs.

Israeli fears were heightened when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in October called for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map."

At the end of December, the head of Israeli military intelligence Aharon Zeevi said in an interview that a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would be "difficult but not impossible".

In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's French-built Osirak nuclear reactor.

Israel itself is believed to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East, although it has never admitted to having a non-conventional arsenal.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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NKorean Financial Sanctions Based On Solid Evidence
Washington (AFP) Jan 09, 2006
The United States said Monday that sanctions imposed on nuclear-armed North Korea for alleged illicit financial activities were based on carefully scrutinized evidence, rejecting Pyongyang's contention that the charges were groundless.

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