Israel Backs Off from Attack on Iran
16 Apr 09 | PTV
Israel has retracted a military option against Iran just after Washington refused to back up Tel Aviv’s attack to halt Tehran’s nuclear work.
Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Thursday that a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities could not be a resolution to the long disputed matter.
“The solution in Iran is not a military one,” Peres told visiting US Middle East envoy George Mitchell on Thursday, AFP reported.
Peres had said in a Sunday interview with Kol Hai Radio that Israel ‘will’ strike Iran should diplomacy fail but stressed that Tel Aviv would not go to war with Tehran independently.
“We certainly cannot go [for] it alone, without the US, and we definitely can’t go against the US. This would be unnecessary,” Peres explained.
But the US declined to give a green light to Israel, warning that the attack would result in grave consequences.
Speaking to a group of Marine Corps students in Washington, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates noted that a strike against Iran would only delay the country’s nuclear program for about one to three years, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.
Gates added that an attack on Iran would adversely cement Iran’s “determination to have a nuclear program and also build into the whole country an undying hatred of whoever hits” the country.
The West, spearheaded by Israel and the US, accuses Tehran of developing a covert nuclear military program. Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says its nuclear program is solely aimed at peaceful purposes.
Israel’s threat to launch an attack against Iran also prompted the Islamic Republic to send a critical letter to the United Nations.
In his letter to the UN Security Council, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaei called “unlawful and insolent” the recent war rhetoric against the country.
“Officials of the Zionist regime [Israel] have repeatedly threatened to resort to violence against the Islamic Republic. These threats, blatant violations of international law and the UN Charter, are repeated with inaction on behalf of the Security Council,” the letter said.
Israel has repeatedly threatened to resort to a military strike against Iran should its staunch ally, the US, fail to solve the country’s nuclear issue through talks.
US President Barack Obama has promised to exercise diplomatic ways to solve the issue and mend ties with the Islamic Republic.