Netanyahu says ready to order strike on Iran
Jerusalem: Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he was ready to press the strike button on Iran if economic sanctions fail to stop its nuclear programme.
Speaking on Israeli television, Netanyahu said Iran will not have the bomb as long as he was at the helm in Israel.
"I am, of course, ready to press the button if necessary," he said, Israeli media reported.
Netanyahu also indicated that Israel was even prepared to act unilaterally if necessary.
"As long as I am prime minister, Iran will not have the atomic bomb," he said.
Israel has been asking the US to set "red lines" for military action against Iran but the US has resisted this so far, emphasising on sanctions.
The handling of the Iranian issue has also put a strain in Israel's relations with the administration of Barack Obama, as Israel pushes for a more fierce action.
Iran insists that its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes.
The prime minister made these remarks in an interview with an Israeli channel, Channel Two whose investigative report said that in 2010 Netanyahu and his defence minister, Ehud Barak, had given orders to the military to be prepared for a strike on Iran but the military chief refused to comply with it.