Iran whines about veiled Israeli threat

Thursday, February 21, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Iran's ambassador to the UN on Wednesday demanded that the world body condemn Israel over its veiled threat to use military force as a last resort to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The Iranian diplomat was referring to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's statement last month that all options were still on the table for dealing with Iran's defiant nuclear program.

Israel and other Western powers remain convinced Iran's nuclear program is military in nature, and Jerusalem fears the first target for those weapons would be the Jewish state. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly expressed his belief that Israel should be "wiped off the map."

Ahmadinejad's latest tirade against Israel came earlier in the day on Wednesday, when he told a gathering in Iran that the Jewish state is a "filthy bacteria" that should be eradicated.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman immediately lodged a complaint and personally expressed his outrage to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Meanwhile, a Paris-based Iranian opposition group told reporters on Wednesday that its intelligence shows the Iranian regime has accelerated its nuclear program, and has for the first time set up command centers and production facilities for the manufacture of atomic weapons.

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