Israel will launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities if it feels the Islamic Republic is getting too close to acquiring nuclear weapons, said Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai in an interview with Army Radio on Friday.
That despite a surprising US intelligence report issued last week suggesting that Tehran had abandoned its quest for an atomic bomb in 2003.
An unnamed Israeli cabinet minister was quoted in the press as saying the US intelligence report had effectively taken the option of a preemptive Israeli strike off the table, since Israel did not intend to attack Iran on its own.
Observers noted that the US intelligence report curiously coincided with the Bush Administration's major push to resume the process of dividing the Land of Israel for the creation of a Palestinian Arab state, and saw it as an attempt to minimize other regional concerns in order to ensure the success of the "peace" process.
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