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People's Daily Online>>World >> Middle East

Israeli defense minister says no plan at moment to strike Iran


22:11, December 01, 2011

JERUSALEM, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday refuted recent media reports that Israel is gearing to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.

"At the moment, we have no intention to act (against Iran). However, the State of Israel is far from being 'frozen in fear,' or unable to take steps against the threat of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons," Barak told Israeli public radio.

He said that while Israel and the United States were in an agreement on how to deal with the threat, "We don't see eye to eye on everything."

Barak's comments came after U.S. military chief General Martin Dempsey said Wednesday that it was unclear whether Israel would alert his country prior to an attack on Iran's nuclear installations.

Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, also acknowledged that the U.S. and its ally were at odds over the best way to approach Iran's nuclear program, with the former being convinced that sanctions and diplomatic pressure are the right path to follow.

The release of a report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month confirmed long-voiced concerns by Israel's leadership that Iran was clandestinely pursuing a nuclear program with military goals.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials have since called on the international community to make an all-out effort to stop Iran's drive to acquire nuclear weaponry by sanctioning the Islamic Republic's oil and gas sector and central bank.

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