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Ya'alon: Pre-Emptive Strike on Iran Could be Necessary

Minister Moshe Ya’alon says the civilized world must act to avert the Iranian nuclear threat, including a pre-emptive strike if necessary.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/31/2011, 3:58 AM / Last Update: 5/31/2011, 5:14 AM

Israel’s Minister for Strategic Affairs, Moshe Ya’alon said on Monday that the civilized world must take joint action to avert the Iranian nuclear threat, and that action should include a pre-emptive strike if necessary.

Ya’alon made the comments in an interview with Russia’s Interfax news agency, ahead of his visit to Moscow.

“We strongly hope that the entire civilized world will come to realize what threat this regime is posing and take joint action to avert the nuclear threat posed by Iran, even if it would be necessary to conduct a pre-emptive strike,” Interfax quoted Ya’alon as saying.

Though he would not discuss who might deal the strike, he stressed that the entire world and not just Israel, must be concerned about the danger posed by a nuclear-armed Iran.

“An Iran possessing nuclear weapons would be a threat to the entire civilized world,” he was quoted as saying.

Ya’alon’s spokesman later clarified to The Associated Press that the minister was simply repeating Israel’s position that all options are on the table regarding Iran, and that he was not calling for anybody to attack the Islamic Republic.

Ya’alon has previously said about Iran that it “is a threat to regional stability and is pulling strings behind the scenes. They are provoking Shi’ite leaders to challenge Arab regimes and stir the pot in Afghanistan and Iraq. The problem is not just the Iranian nuclear program, but the Iranian regime’s behavior. Iran should not have a military nuclear capability. This regime should not continue its terrorist activities without paying a price.”