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Halutz. Pessimistic about diplomatic route
Photo: Amit Shaby
Photo; Reuters
Sharon. Agrees with Bush
Photo; Reuters
Photo: Reuters
Power plant in Iran
Photo: Reuters
Halutz: No hope for diplomacy with Iran
IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz says on Sunday he is skeptical about prospects of diplomatic negotiations with Iran over nuclear armament, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warns Iran a global threat

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told foreign reporters Sunday he is skeptical that diplomatic pressure will put a halt to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

 

"The fact that the Iranians are successful time after time in getting away from international pessure...encourages them to continue their nuclear project," he said.

 

"I believe that the political means used by the Europeans and the U.S. to convince the Iranians to stop the project will not succeed," Halutz added.

 

Meanwhile, at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and former Labor Chairman Shimon Peres Sunday, the PM called for sanctions on Iran.

 

"I hope that this case is brought before the U.N. Security Council as soon as possible, in order to ensure this process stops," Sharon told reporters.

 

Sharon has also expressed concern over the developments in Iran, and said that the hostile state represents a threat not only to Israel, but to the entire world.

 

He stated that a situation in which Iran becomes a nuclear superpower is inconceivable.

 

"Israel is not the one leading this process, but we definitely share the concern of other countries, who are worried on account of these developments. We cooperate with the states of Europe and with the Unites States on the matter," he said.

 

Sharon added that he agreed with the words of American President George W. Bush a short while ago, that if the subject of Iran is put on the agenda, it needs to be addressed thoroughly.

 

Notably, Tehran's official news agency IRNA reported Sunday that according to Head of Tehran's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization has been given license to set up another 20 nuclear plants, two of them by March 2006.

 

Associated Press contributed to the report

 

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