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Lieberman, in Wednesday's meeting
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Israel can deal with Iran alone, Lieberman says
Minister for strategic affairs emphasizes, however, importance of international community uniting against Iran's nuclear program

The Israeli government "is doing more than any other government to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue. If we will need to deal with the Iranian threat alone, we'll be able to," Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman told the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday.

 

According to Lieberman, "we can face (Iran) even if we're left to face them one on one. For the sake of the rest of the world, it would be better if things didn't come to that.

 

"If the world doesn't stop the Iranians, we'll witness a huge nuclear arms race in the Middle East. I don't want to think about the implications of that, because the situation will be out of control," he explained.

 

"The world needs to unite to stop the Iranians. It's easier in this case than with North Korea. The difference is that, in Iran, the business class is very small, concentrated among 50 or 60 families that run the economy.

 

"We need to be focused. We must not be hysterical, but decisive," he said.

 

Hysteria does nothing more than reduce deterrent power, the minister claimed, adding "I know an assistant defense minister who gives me hair-raising descriptions (of the issue) every day. They're not correct."

 

He expressed optimism following a meeting with Russian officials in Moscow, saying "the Russians have a tradition of ties to the Arab world. They, too, have interests, but at the end of the day, we're on the same side."

 

When asked about issues closer to home, Lieberman called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "an irrelevant figure, with no authority or ability to lead any political move."

 

"He is a hostage of Hamas," the minister said.

 

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