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Israel urges US not to rule out military option in Iran

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak

Arabs lament lack of dialogue with West on Iran nuclear file
Arab diplomats complained on Sunday about a lack of dialogue with the West over Iran's nuclear ambitions during a briefing on the crisis by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attended the meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh alongside French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and their counterparts from Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. "The Arab countries wanted to be informed of the state of negotiations" between Iran and six major world powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- said an official who attended the talks. Another participant said the Arab diplomats expressed "deep concerns" at the meeting and complained of "insufficient dialogue" between Arab countries and the six world powers on the standoff over Iran's nuclear drive. Western nations led by the United States accuse Tehran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons but Iran vehemently denies the charges, saying its programme is solely aimed at generating electricity. Jordanian Foreign Minister Salah Bashir told the meeting that "the nuclear crisis became a crisis (for the West) but for us the Iranian surge for hegemony has become a crisis," according to the participant who asked not to be named. Sunni Arab governments like Egypt, Jordan and the six oil-rich Gulf monarchies have repeatedly expressed concerns over what they see as the growing influence of Shiite Iran in the region, namely in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Iran is under three sets of UN sanctions for failing to heed international demands to halt uranium enrichment but the major powers have offered Tehran technological, economic and political incentives if it suspends the process.
by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Nov 7, 2008
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Friday issued a thinly veiled call for the United States not to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran because of its nuclear ambitions.

"We don't rule out any option. We recommend others don't rule out any option either," Barak told journalists after talks with visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"We are convinced that Iran continues to try to obtain a nuclear weapon and continues to cheat everybody by holding negotiations on the control of such weapons," Barak said.

Tehran denies it wants nuclear weapons, and says its atomic project is puirely peaceful.

On Thursday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said possible US talks with Iran may be problematic, highlighting possible disagreements with a Barack Obama administration.

"Dialogue at this point may be interpreted as a sign of weakness... I think that premature dialogue at a time where Iran thinks that the world has given up on sanctions may be problematic," she said.

Obama warned during a visit to Israel in July that a nuclear Iran would pose a "grave threat," but he also reiterated his openness to meeting Tehran's representatives if the conditions were appropriate.

Israel is widely considered to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East, although it has never officially confirmed nor denied having such weapons.

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Israel FM warns of discord with Obama over Iran
Jerusalem (AFP) Nov 6, 2008
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Thursday that US talks with Iran on its nuclear programme may be "problematic," highlighting possible disagreements with a Barack Obama administration.







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