“All options on the table” in facing Iran: Israel’s Deputy PM

An Israeli deputy prime minister said on Saturday after a US visit that “all options are on the table” to halt Iran’s nuclear drive, which Israel considers a threat to its existence.

“The strategy for now is one of sanctions, of a united front of nations in that context, and the strategy of declaring without any doubt that all options are on the table,” Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz told public radio.

Israel and the United States accuse Iran of pursuing atomic weapons under the guise of a peaceful nuclear energy programme, charges Tehran has repeatedly denied.

“I think like others that the option of using military force is the last resort,” Mofaz said.

But “it’s clear that the opportunity for a negotiated solution is diminishing if by the diplomatic path we should not succeed to stop the advancement of the Iranian nuclear programme,” he added.

Israel and the United States agreed to appoint two working committees to hone a joint strategy against Iran’s nuclear ambitions, public radio reported on Friday, following the talks which Mofaz held in Washington this week.

Israel — the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear power — has been pressing the UN Security Council for tougher sanctions ahead of a new and widely anticipated report by the International Atomic Energy Agency.