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Israel does not rule out use of military force against Iran

Published time: June 21, 2012 14:55
Edited time: June 21, 2012 18:59
Avigdor Lieberman (AFP Photo / Michal Cizek)

Avigdor Lieberman (AFP Photo / Michal Cizek)

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said all the options are on the table for resolving the Iran nuclear problem, but no final decision has been reached yet on the matter.

"We do not rule out any options," Lieberman told reporters in Moscow on Thursday.

"No decision has yet been made. We will keep assessing the situation. We make such assessments almost every week," he said. "We will follow everything closely, and when we come to some decision, we will certainly implement it."

Asked how long Israel could wait for international mediators in their efforts to settle the Iran nuclear problem peacefully, Lieberman responded, "We are not counting every minute with a stopwatch. We are really following the negotiations closely."

Lieberman said Israel was looking forward to hearing the outcome of the Moscow round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 UN Security Council permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus Germany) personally from President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Israel on June 25.

"We have a feeling, at least based on what has been published in the media, that these negotiations experienced a deadlock,” the Israeli Deputy PM said. “Iran has not sent any signals or messages that it could abandon its nuclear program.”

We are really interested in hearing Russia's opinion on what prospects it sees in resolving the Iran nuclear problem, how it can assess the situation, and what it can propose, he added.

Lieberman went on to provide a brief scenario as to what he thinks would transpire in the Middle East should Iran obtain the capability to build nuclear weapons.

"A nuclear Iran means an arms race in the Middle East,” he said. “This is not (limited to) Iran but primarily Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Speaking in the diplomatic language, consequences of such a nuclear arms race are simply unpredictable."

Iran, Syria and bilateral relations are expected to dominate the agenda of negotiations scheduled to take place during Putin's working visit to Israel next week, according to Lieberman.

"We hope to discuss with our Russian colleagues issues surrounding the Iranian nuclear program, the situation in Syria and bilateral relations – trade and economic," he said. "As we exchange opinions at the highest level, we will try to formulate a program for the next three to four years."

It was reported earlier that Putin will attend a dedication ceremony for a monument commemorating the triumph of the Red Army over Nazi Germany.

"Almost everyone has relatives who took an immediate part in World War II one way or the other, and everybody in Israel realizes the role of the Red Army, its contribution to the victory, and what would have happened if we had not won," the deputy prime minister said. "In this case, there is an absolute consensus regarding the results of World War II and the Red Army's role.”

The memorial will be unveiled the highest level: the presidents of Russia and Israel will do this personally, he added.

Meanwhile, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov has announced that there has been no breakthrough at the Moscow round of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers.

"The Moscow conference of the Iran 'six' has failed to deliver any breakthroughs," he told reporters.

At the same time, he stressed that "the main result is an agreement that negotiations must continue".

Robert Bridge, RT