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Lieberman: No Way Can Israel Accept a Nuclear Iran

Foreign Minister Lieberman criticizes decision makers from the past decade, says they failed to take steps to stop Iran.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 8/24/2012, 9:44 PM

Avigdor Lieberman
Avigdor Lieberman
Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized on Friday the decision makers from the past decade, saying they failed to adopt the necessary policy and thus allowed the Iranians to reach the capabilities they have today.

"I talked about this back in 2001, when the Iranian nuclear facilities were not underground and scattered as they are now,” Lieberman said in a special interview with Channel 2 News. “I was exposed to this issue for the first time in 1996, when I was Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office. In 2001, we knew they were planning to move all their nuclear facilities underground and spread them out, but the decisions as they should have been made were not made.

Lieberman refused to directly answer the question of whether he was among the ministers who support an attack on Iran, but stressed that he views the current situation as being very serious.

“As someone who has been engaged with this issue for many years, I can say that, according to intelligence information, Israel cannot live with a nuclear Iran,” he said, adding, “Whoever makes light of this situation and brings, as an example, the fact that Pakistan, India and North Korea are nuclear - does not know what he's talking about. There is no way that the State of Israel can accept a nuclear Iran.”

Lieberman pointed a finger at his partners in the government and the coalition who he said are talking too much about an attack on Iran.

“Some people are discussing this issue without having intelligence information,” he said. “I think that this chatter is destructive and reduces our deterrence.”

On Thursday it was reported that Iran has accelerated its activities at the Fordo underground nuclear site near Qom.

The information, revealed by international diplomats, comes several days before the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is set to publish a new report on Iran’s nuclear program. According to the diplomats, the report will say that Iran has installed new centrifuges at the Fordo uranium enrichment facility.

Strategic Affair Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Thursday placed the responsibility on the United States if the Islamic Republic realizes its nuclear ambitions.

“History will judge whether the United States stood in the face of the Shiite threat and prevented the Iranian military nuclear capability in time,” Ya’alon said during a forum at the Gordon College of Education in Haifa. “A Middle East with a nuclear Iran is a Middle East with nuclear chaos.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Friday with U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who is visiting the Middle East and told him, "Just yesterday, we received additional proof of the fact that Iran is continuing to make accelerated progress toward achieving nuclear weapons while totally ignoring international demands."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)