Israeli President Shimon Peres warned on Sunday that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely, days before a report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog on Iran’s nuclear programme is due.
“The possibility of a military attack against Iran is now closer to being applied than the application of a diplomatic option,” Peres told the Israel Hayom daily.
“We must stay calm and resist pressure so that we can consider every alternative,” he added.
“I don’t think that any decision has already been made, but there is an impression that Iran is getting closer to nuclear weapons.”
His comments came after he warned in an interview aired by Israel’s privately-owned Channel Two television on Saturday that an attack on Iran was becoming “more and more likely.”
“The intelligence services of the different countries that are keeping an eye on (Iran) are worried and putting pressure on their leaders to warn that Iran is ready to obtain the nuclear weapon,” he said.
In France meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe warned that an attack on Iran would be disastrous.
“We have imposed sanctions that continue to expand, we can toughen them to put pressure on Iran,” Juppe told Europe 1 radio.
“We will continue on this path because a military intervention could create a situation that completely destabilises the region,” he said.
“Everything must be done to avoid the irreversible.”
In recent days, speculation in Israel has grown about the possibility of a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, with Haaretz newspaper reporting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak were seeking cabinet support for an attack.
And the military last week carried out what Israeli media called a “ballistic missile” test, as well as a large-scale civil defence drill simulating the response to conventional and non-conventional missile attacks.
Officials said both events were long-planned, but they drove talk here about whether Israel is ramping up plans for an attack.
On Sunday, Haaretz reported that US officials had failed to secure a commitment from Israel that it would coordinate any attack plans with Washington.
Still, media reports suggested no final decision has been taken and that a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear watchdog on November 8 or 9 would have a “decisive effect” on decision-making.
Here we go again. What does this sound eerily similar to?