Military chief hints Israel may participate in strike against Iran
The world has the military power to prevent Iran from developing nuclear bombs, Israel's military chief said in comments published Tuesday. Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz added that if Iran does obtain nuclear weapons, it will constitute a threat to Israel's existence.
"When the Iranians will have a nuclear, military capability, then we will be able to talk about an existential threat," Halutz said. "If they have a nuclear weapon and the rulers speak as they do today, this combination will be a dangerous combination for Israel."
When asked if the world can, militarily, stop Iran's nuclear program, Halutz told the Maariv newspaper: "The answer is yes." Asked whether Israel would be involved in such a military operation against its top enemy, Halutz said, "We are part of the world."
In the past, US president George Bush has refused to rule out military action in response to the Iranian nuclear standoff.
In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan cited by The Associated Press on Monday, Iran's U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif called Bush's refusal to rule out a U.S. nuclear strike on Iran "illegal and insolent threats." Zarif said the use of "false pretexts" by senior American officials "to make public and illegal threats of resort to force against the Islamic Republic of Iran is continuing unabated in total contempt of international law and fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter."