Gil Hoffman – JPost.com July 17, 2008
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who stands a good chance of becoming prime minister shortly after September's Kadima primary, defended his hawkish statements about a prospective attack on Iran this week in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
Mofaz was blamed for a record rise in gas prices worldwide after he told Yediot Aharonot
on June 6 that Israel would attack Iran if it did not cease nuclear development.
The newspaper quoted him as saying that the sanctions against Iran were ineffective and therefore "there will be no choice but to attack Iran to halt the Iranian nuclear program."
Speaking this week at his Jerusalem office, Mofaz denied that he had any impact on international gas prices, which he said were the result of supply and demand. He reiterated his threats to Iran and said that Israel must be ready to act.
"Israel cannot let Iran get to the point of nuclearization," Mofaz said. "All options are on the table. If there won't be a choice other than a nuclear Iran or a military option, it's clear what our decision has to be."
Mofaz said all diplomatic alternatives must be exhausted before an attack was considered. But he said that Iran had succeeded in using the diplomatic process to stall for time as it expedited its production of centrifuges, warheads and missiles that could reach every European capital.
As the minister in charge of Israel's strategic dialogue with the United States on Iran, he will head to Washington later this month for a meeting with key officials in which joint policies on Iran could be reevaluated. One option that will be considered is a fourth and stronger set of United Nations sanctions.
"The strategy against Iran has not changed and it will continue to be led by the United States," Mofaz said. "We cannot let a dangerous regime threaten the entire would."
Last updated 20/07/2008