Netanyahu accuses Iran of inciting war between Israel, Syria

08:09, May 12, 2010      

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday blamed Tehran of attempting to provoke war between Israel and Syria, a day after a senior Israeli official sent a harsh message to the Islamic Republic.

Iran's recent attempt "is an effort to spread lies in order to create regional tension," local daily Ha'aretz quoted Netanyahu as saying during a tour of the Northern Command of Israel Defense Forces.

"Israel seeks peace and has no intention to attack its neighbors, despite false rumors," said the prime minister, who also took part in a military drill held in northern Israel during his tour.

The Israeli-Syrian relations have been under the spotlight after the Jewish state accused Syria of giving Lebanon's Shiite political and armed group Hezbollah Scud missiles, an accusation denied by Damascus.

When attending the 12th session of the Syrian-Iranian Higher Committee in Damascus in late April, Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said that "no one can threaten Syria as far as it is supported by Iran."

Netanyahu's comments come a day after Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Israel has possessed necessary capabilities needed for a potential war with Iran.

"There is no doubt that the technological capabilities, which improved in recent years, have improved range and aerial refuelling capabilities, and have brought about a massive improvement in the accuracy or ordnance and intelligence," local news service Ynet quoted Ya'alon as saying when addressing a conference on Israel's air power in Herzliya.

The minister said that this capability could be used for a war with Tehran.

Israel believes that Tehran may obtain the uranium fuel needed for nuclear weapons by the same process to purify uranium. But Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purpose.

Israel has long labeled Iran's nuclear program as a threat to its security, and refused to rule out the possibility of launching unilateral military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.



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