Iran-led radicals getting stronger, Israel warns

An Iran-led radical front in the Middle East is becoming more powerful and weaknesses in it need to be found, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz said Monday.

“The radical group headed by Iran, including Syria, Hezbollah and the Hamas (are) gaining more and more power each year,” Mofaz told reporters following a meeting in Washington with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“And we have to find the weaknesses and change this situation because we see more influence of Iran in our region,” Mofaz said, adding this was the main point of discussion during his talks with Rice.

Mofaz was in Washington as part of the US-Israeli strategic dialogue which meets every six months to discuss common security concerns.

He said further talks here in Washington will take up the issue of UN Security Council sanctions imposed on Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium.

“I believe our policy about Iran is in the right direction, but we have to check the effectiveness of the sanctions so far,” he said.

The United States and Israel, the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, have accused Iran of using its civilian nuclear power program as a cover for attempting to develop an atomic bomb.

Tehran vehemently denies that, but has had three sets of United Nations Security Council sanctions slapped on it over its refusal to stop enriching uranium.
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