Israel will take own Iran decisions: Foreign Min

Last Updated: Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 16:19

Jerusalem: Israel will take any decisions on
Iran`s nuclear activities as an "independent state," Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday, on the eve of a
US-Israel summit in Washington.

"Clearly, the United States is the biggest world power
and the biggest and most important country that is a friend of
Israel, but we are an independent state," Lieberman told
Israeli public radio.

"Ultimately, the state of Israel will take the decisions
that are most appropriate based on its evaluation of the
situation," he said.

Lieberman`s comments came shortly before Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to hold talks in Washington
with US President Barack Obama tomorrow, a meeting expected to
focus heavily on Iran`s nuclear activities.

Israel, Washington and much of the international
community believes that Iran`s nuclear programme masks a
weapons drive, a charge Tehran denies.

US intelligence is said to believe that Iran does not
currently intend to produce nuclear weapons, though it may be
seeking the capacity to do so, and Washington has emphasised
the importance of deterrent sanctions and diplomacy.

But Israel is reportedly eager to move more quickly and
decisively against Iran`s nuclear activities, using a military
strike to prevent it from obtaining even the capacity to take
a decision to produce nuclear weapons.

"The Iranian file is well-known," Lieberman said. "The
direction taken by Iran is clear."

But he added that any decisions should be taken "calmly,
weighing the pros and cons. All this chatter doesn`t help
anyone."

Lieberman also warned that the international community`s
failure to deal with the bloodshed in Syria, where a crackdown
on anti-regime protesters has killed thousands, showed Israel
could rely only on itself for protection.

"If the international community is incapable of stopping
the massacres in Syria, what is the value of its promises to
protect the security of Israel?"

PTI



First Published: Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 16:19

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