Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mofaz: All options, including military one, on the table regarding Iran

"All options, including the military one, are on the table when it comes to dealing with Iran's nuclear program, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said Saturday, after talks in Washington with senior U.S. officials.

"For now, sanctions are the best way to go," said Mofaz, a former defense minister and Israel Defense Forces chief of staff.

He said Israel and the U.S. agreed to review the effectiveness of sanctions at the end of 2007. "Regarding a timeline ... we decided that the end of 2007 will be the point of assessing the effectiveness of the sanctions and the amount of influence they are having on the Iranians."

"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."

The United States has been urging the five other powers spearheading efforts to persuade Iran to abandon uranium enrichment - Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China - to get to work on a new UN sanctions resolution.

"If the sharpening of the sanctions is not accepted by the Security Council, then the United States will lead its own measures, together with other countries, to place economic and financial sanctions, and not renew Iranian oil infrastructure," Mofaz said."

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