Israel urges world action after Iran missile test

Date: 11-03-06

TEL AVIV (AFP) - Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz urged the world to act after Iran claimed to have fired longer-range ballistic missiles for the first time, the defence ministry said.

"Iran provoked the whole world on Thursday and it is impossible to ignore it," Peretz was quoted as having said following talks with visiting German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung, a statement said.

"I have no doubt that the German defence minister understands we cannot stay indifferent while Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons and has an official ideology that advocates the destruction of Israel," Peretz added.

"The international community and of course Germany, who plays a key role in this matter, should convey these message and take steps to impose it."

After their meeting, his German counterpart told reporters that Israel could "count on Germany to try to prevent this country (Iran) from getting the nuclear weapon".

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Friday they had fired three new types of land-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles on the second day of military exercises in Gulf waters, state television reported.

Launching the "Great Prophet" war games on Thursday, Israel's arch-enemy Iran said it fired its longer-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile for the first time amid a mounting standoff with the West over its nuclear programme.

Jung was in Israel following talks in Lebanon, at a time when Germany commands the marine component of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), in its first military foray into the Middle East since World War II.

He said after talks with Peretz that Israel was "very satisfied with Germany's participation in UNIFIL."

While in Beirut, Jung said he expected no more shooting incidents between the Israeli army and German forces backing up a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.

"I assure you that no more incidents of this kind are going to happen," he said following talks with Prime Minister Fuad Siniora on Friday.

Berlin said last week that Israeli warplanes fired shots over a helicopter and an unarmed German vessel off the Lebanese coast.


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