Military option on table concerning Iran

Associated Press
Date: 06-09-07

JERUSALEM - Military action is one of the options in dealing with Iran's nuclear program, Israel's deputy prime minister said Saturday, after discussing the issue with senior U.S. officials.

For now, sanctions are the best way to go, said the Cabinet minister, Shaul Mofaz. He said Israel and the U.S. agreed to review the effectiveness of sanctions at the end of 2007.

Mofaz met earlier this week with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. At the time, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said he was not aware of any discussion of a deadline for diplomacy.

The United Nations has imposed sanctions twice against Iran for defying international will with its uranium enrichment program. The United States and its allies have signaled their support for harsher sanctions.

Mofaz told Israel Radio on Saturday that the U.S. and Israel agree on how to deal with Iran.

"The strategy shared by the U.S. and Israel has three elements," Mofaz told Israel Radio. "One is a united international front against the Iranian nuclear program. Secondly, at this time, sanctions are the best way to act against the aspirations of Iran."

He said the third element is "a very, very clear signal and a clear statement that all options are on the table." Mofaz added: "I never said there is no military option, and the military option is included in all the options that are on the table, but at this time it's right to use the path of sanctions, and to intensify them."

Iran insists that its program is designed to produce civilian energy. It has resisted Western offers of diplomatic and economic benefits if it would suspend enrichment programs.


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