Europe to Israel: Military strike on Iran nuclear program not an option(Read article summary)
Iran and Israel are still issuing incendiary comments in response to the release of the Iran nuclear report. European leaders are pushing for harsher sanctions instead of a military strike.
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A week after world leaders urged Israel to tone down its heated rhetoric on Iran, European leaders are again urging caution as Iran begins to react to the international community's stern words and threats, led by Israel.
The International Atomic Energy Agency last week released a report on Iran's nuclear program that said intelligence indicated that the intentions of the program may not be entirely peaceful. The leak of the report was followed by a flurry of threats and warnings from Israel – and a concerted effort from world leaders to dial down the conversation.
In a television interview with CNN's Piers Morgan on Monday, Israeli President Shimon Peres called Iran a "morally corrupt" and "spoiled" country, saying that what was needed was an attack on the country's "moral foundations," Haaretz reports, quoting the CNN interview (which is not available on-line). Iran is "the only country that threatens to destroy another country, openly," Mr. Peres said.
But the military option is not Israel's first option, he said, explaining that he would prefer to see stronger economic sanctions and political pressure before a military attack. He also reiterated Israel's stance that Iran is a global threat, not merely an Israeli threat.
In a commentary published today in The Times of London, opposition leader Tzipi Livni also called on the international community to do its part to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran, she wrote, "with its genocidal rhetoric and its growing military might, is not just a threat to the stability of our region. Its intentions run counter to the interests of the free world and its policies are an affront to the values of the free world."