Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will attack Iran should the US fail to quickly halt Tehran's nuclear program.
Setting guidelines for US president Barack Obama, Netanyahu said that "the Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons."
If the US fails to quickly achieve the latter, Israel would be 'forced' to attack Iran's nuclear facilities itself, Netanyahu told the Atlantic magazine, shortly before his inauguration on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu said he would support Obama's decision to engage Iran, so long as negotiations brought about 'a quick end' to Iran's nuclear activities.
"How you achieve this goal is less important than achieving it," he said.
In a Nowruz (Persian New Year) message released earlier this month, President Obama said that he seeks a "new beginning" with Tehran.
"For nearly three decades relations between our nations have been strained. But at this holiday we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together," the US president had said in his message.
In response, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Washington must demonstrate change in practice.
"Avoid an arrogant tone, avoid arrogant behavior, avoid bullying, do not interfere in any nation's affairs," Ayatollah Khamenei advised the US president.
Tehran nevertheless left the door wide open for rapprochement. "If you change your attitude, we will change our attitude."
Tel Aviv, which is widely believed to house the Middle East's sole nuclear arsenal, accuses Tehran of pursuing a covert military nuclear program. Israel has repeatedly threatened Iran with war if the country continues its nuclear program.
Tehran, a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says its uranium enrichment program is a peaceful drive to produce nuclear energy for the country's growing demand.
US Intelligence Chief Dennis Blair said earlier this month that "Iran does not have any highly enriched uranium" that could be used for making nuclear arms.
Moreover, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Michael Mullen, recently warned that an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would undermine stability in the Middle East.
... Payvand News - 04/01/09 ... --