Mofaz says he wants peace
Photo: AFP

Mofaz: Iran on way to major nuclear breakthrough

Minister Mofaz says effort to curb Iranian nuke program is 'race against time and time is winning,' calls for new UN sanctions; Kadima leadership candidate also tells Washington audience talks with Syria must continue

Iran is heading toward a major breakthrough in its nuclear program, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Friday.


"As soon as 2010 (Iran) will have the option to reach (uranium production) at military levels," he told an audience in Washington. However, Mofaz said he supported diplomacy and spoke of other options as "last resort".


"It is a race against time and time is winning," Mofaz said.


Mofaz said another UN Security Council resolution with new sanctions will be needed this year if Iran does not meet the deadline for responding this weekend.


"We must insist on Iran meeting the timetable set," Mofaz said in his remarks at the Washington Institute. "The red line should be that there is no uranium enrichment on Iranian soil."


Mofaz: Peace push with Syria should go on

Mofaz also said that Israel's peace efforts with Syria should continue, without preconditions, after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert steps down.


"My opinion and my goal will be to continue to speak to the Syrians without preconditions," Mofaz said in a speech.


"The way is - peace for peace," Mofaz added. "I will do my best to achieve peace with our neighbors ... our first priority should be the Palestinians but there are some problems, some obstacles," he said.


Mofaz, the former IDF chief of staff and defense minister, further reiterated his commitment to peace by referring to his family.


"As a father who has three children in the military, I want peace for them," he said.


Syria has demanded the return of the Golan Heights before serious talks can take place. Mofaz has come out against any plan by Olmert to return the Golan. Olmert says he had made no such undertaking to the Syrians.


At this time Mofaz is considered one of the two top Kadima leadership candidates, along with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. Should he win the upcoming Kadima primaries, he may be able to form an alternative government and become Israel's next prime minister.


פרסום ראשון: 08.01.08, 18:35
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