Sharon: approved attack
Nuclear Iran: too late to stop it?
Khatami: ready to cooperate
London’s “Sunday Times” has reported top secret Israeli plans to attack nuclear research sites in Iran, should American and European diplomatic attempts to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear program fail.
According to reports, the security cabinet gathered last month for a secret meeting at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s home at the Shikmim Ranch, near the southern town of Sderot, to discuss plans for a potential attack. At the meetings conclusion the cabinet gave initial authorization for the attack.
The "Times" states that elite IDF forces, including the Shaldag (Kingfisher) commando and air force Squadron 69 units have started training for the daring mission against a mock reactor in the Negev desert. The program is reported to include “bunker-buster” bombs powerful enough to destroy underground laboratories.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, speaking during an official visit to Mexico, called on the U.S. and Europe to shut down Iran’s nuclear program, and said that an nuclear Iran would be a “disaster” for Israel and the world.
Hatami: ready to cooperate
Iranian President Muhammad Khatami said Iran had “no intention of giving up our national rights”, but said Tehran would cooperate to ensure his country would not develop a nuclear bomb.
But he warned that time forreaching an agreement was running out, and implored the Europeans to act quickly.
American officials have previously unofficially indicated the United States would not object to an Israeli strike should talks fail. U.S. Vice-President Dick Chaney said Friday that Iran would face “stronger action” if it failed to accept a joint U.S.-European initiative by which Iran would be invited to join the World Trade Organization and could purchase spare airplane parts in return for abandoning nuclear plans.
Iranian officials rejected the proposal.