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Iran Nuclear Ambitions Can Be Stopped Without Violence Says Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Feb 006, 2007
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday he believed Iranian nuclear ambitions could be halted without violence and praised international efforts in dealing with arch enemy Tehran. "I think there's a way to stop the Iranians from moving forward on their nuclear programme without violent actions," he said in a speech to Jewish American leaders in Jerusalem.

"I believe the measures taken by the international community lately are more effective than some think they are," he added, before denying that Israel had ever been a motivating force behind "extreme action".

"If all the international community would join forces and apply the necessary pressure on Iran, it would have such an impact that at the end of the day it would force them to reconsider their position," Olmert said.

"Israel was never pushing anyone to any extreme action."

The Jewish state has come to regard Iran as its chief enemy, alarmed by Tehran's nuclear programme and repeated calls from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated calls for Israel's destruction.

Israel and the West accuse Iran of seeking to acquire an atomic bomb through its nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is solely for peaceful purposes.

Israel was a major advocate of UN sanctions against Iran, which the Security Council adopted in December over Tehran's repeated refusal to fully cooperate with the UN atomic energy watchdog or suspend uranium enrichment.

Olmert was speaking after recent reports revealed Iran has begun the installation of 3,000 centrifuges in a huge underground bunker at its main nuclear facility in the central town of Natanz.

Israel is itself considered to be the sole nuclear weapons power in the Middle East. It does not officially acknowlege that it has an arsenal although Olmert appeared to do so in an apparent lapse last year.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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No Plans For Military Action On Iran Says Blair
London (AFP) Feb 06, 2007
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday there were no plans for military action against Iran, but there is growing alarm at Tehran's defiance of the international community. Blair reiterated that, if the Islamic republic were to cooperate with the West in terms of curbing its nuclear plans and other actions, "a whole series of doors would open up to them. Nobody is talking or planning military intervention," Blair told a parliamentary committee.

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