As atomic energy watchdogs reported being denied access to critical Iranian nuclear facilities, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters that Israel alone would make the decisions necessary for the security of its citizens.
Lieberman told Channel 2 news that the US and Russia may apply pressure on Israel not to conduct pre-emptive strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, but that the decision is “not their business.”
“The security of the citizens of Israel, the future of the state of Israel, this is the Israeli government’s responsibility,” he said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov called a military option against Iran “catastrophic”, and told reporters at a news conference that he “hope[s] Israel understands all these consequences.” The US has also discouraged Israel from launching an attack.
Israel has publicly confirmed that it is weighing the option of a military attack on Iran, considering that frequent calls from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – backed by national spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini – for the eradication of the State of Israel could become more than rhetoric if Iran acquires atomic weapons.
Representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on a mission to investigate the Iranian nuclear program and resolve the escalating tensions reported Wednesday that they had met with a lack of cooperation from Iran.
The inspectors were denied access to the heavily-guarded Parchin military base during two days of meetings which ended on Tuesday. “We couldn’t get access and we couldn’t finalize a way forward,” IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts told reports in Vienna on Wednesday.
Iran has consistently denied seeking nuclear energy for military purposes, despite previous findings by the IAEA that the nuclear program is most likely being used to attain weapons. Notwithstanding, Iran has refused to cooperate with investigations for nearly four years. Several countries have responded with economic sanctions intended to cow the country into cooperation.
About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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