Israel’s atomic energy minister said on Wednesday that profuse talk of the prospect of an Israeli strike on Iran is futile, adding “If you want to shoot – shoot.”
Asked in a CNN interview about the likelihood of an Israeli attack on Iran in an attempt to stall its nuclear progress, Israeli minister Dan Meridor said: “It’s wrong to speak, I’m afraid that not all my colleagues are with me. Talking would not help.”
“If you want to shoot, shoot, don’t talk,” he added, quoting a line from the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. “I’m not in the business of talking about war. We are in the middle of an international effort, unprecedentedly important… to stop Iran from becoming nuclear. This needs to succeed,” he said in quotes carried by Ynet news website.
Rhetoric has escalated over recent months, often bolstering pushes for tougher action against Iran – like an Israeli preemptive attack - and whether it could receive a helping hand from the United States, Israel’s top ally.
Israel, widely believed to be the region’s only atomic power, has said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence.
Meanwhile, Tehran maintains that it is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes, not to build a nuclear weapon.
Meridor cited a November report by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency, in which it released a trove of “credible” information that Iran “has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” and that some of these activities “may still be ongoing,” the report stated.
“We want to stop them from getting there,” Meridor said. “They have a regime who thinks it knows the word of god, and knows what is right and what is wrong for all the rest of us, and says we should not exist, because Israel has no legitimacy. It wants to develop nuclear weapons. This is a rare combination. We have to take it seriously,” he added.
He also called for continued economic and diplomatic sanctions on Tehran.
(Written by Eman El-Shenawi)