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Israel Cannot Afford To Confront Iran Says Deputy Minister

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by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Jul 03, 2007
Israel's armed forces lack sufficient funds to confront the perceived threat posed by arch foe Iran's nuclear ambitions, an outgoing deputy cabinet minister charged on Monday. "We need more funds than we receive currently to deal with this threat," outgoing deputy defence minister Ephraim Sneh told public radio. "If the (international economic) sanctions (against Iran) were adopted more firmly and more quickly, we may not have needed to talk about other options."

Stressing that Washington was leading the policy of sanctions against Tehran, Sneh said there was no "coordination" at an operational level between the Israeli and US militaries on Iran.

"The United States is an ally but there is no coordination at an operational level between us and them," he said.

Bush has said he hopes to resolve the Iran nuclear dispute diplomatically but that all options, including military action, remain on the table.

The UN Security Council has adopted two packages of economic sanctions against Iran after it defied ultimatums to suspend uranium enrichment.

Iran insists it has the right to master the nuclear fuel cycle as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and says its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes only.

But Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, suspects -- together with the West -- that the Islamic republic's real aim is to develop a nuclear arsenal that would dramatically tip the balance of power in the region.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Iran Vows To Press On With Nuclear Work
Tehran (AFP) Jul 01, 2007
Iran on Saturday dismissed the threat of fresh UN sanctions and announced an impending visit by a senior atomic watchdog official for talks over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme. "The Iranian nation will pursue its right and the disturbances will have no effect," supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying by state-run television.

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