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Tel Aviv
Israel has warned of the danger of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East if Iran succeeds in building a nuclear bomb.
“The Iranians today are closer to creating fissile material for nuclear weapons than they ever were in the past,” an Israeli security official said.
“This fact has significant implications for the security of the state of Israel.”
“Israel has no interest in a war with Iran, but we will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” he said.
“In light of Iranian progress of their nuclear program, we are preparing for all options and scenarios, including military capabilities.” Israel is itself unofficially a nuclear power, and is believed to have more than 90 nuclear warheads, according to some estimates.
However, Israel deliberately avoids comment on its nuclear programme in order to avoid confrontation.
“Iran is continuing its project of entrenching itself in countries rife with instability, with the aim of threatening other countries of the region,” the security official said.
In recent months, Iran had also used drones to attack targets in the Middle East, he said.
Iran and its ally, the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, continue to establish themselves in Syria and threaten Israel, he said. “Israel will continue its campaign in this grey area and will continue for as long as it takes in order to protect the citizens of Israel.”
Israel’s air force has repeatedly attacked targets in neighbouring Syria to prevent Iran from gaining a further foothold there.
Iran is also helping the militant organization Hezbollah to produce precision missiles in Lebanon, the security official said, calling the project a strategic threat to Israel.
“If necessary, we will work to remove it.” “The historic change in relations with Arab countries will also include security components,” the official said, referring to the Abraham Accords that saw diplomatic ties established between Israel and some Arab countries following mediation by the United States.
“This is an opportunity for any country that wants to be involved in the region to deal with common threats.”
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