RICE WON'T RULE OUT ISRAELI ATTACK ON IRAN
DEC 15 2005
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declined on Wednesday to rule out the possibility that Israel might launch a pre-emptive air strike against Iran's nuclear facilities in response to repeated threats from Iranian leaders to use nuclear weapons against the Jewish state.
Asked point blank if she thought Israel might repeat what it did in 1981, when IDF jets took out Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, Rice told ABC Radio's Sean Hannity: "I can't speculate on how this might all play out."
Rice was responding to a report quoting a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who said Israel wouldn't permit Iran to carry out a "second final solution" against the Jewish state.
"Thank God, Israel has the means at its disposal to bring about the downfall of this extremist regime in Iran," Sharon's spokesman Raanan Gissin told Agence France Press on Wednesday. "There will be no second 'final solution'."
Last Friday, leading Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani declared that the Muslim world could survive a nuclear exchange with Israel while accomplishing the goal of obliterating the Jewish state.
"[The] application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world," Hashemi-Rafsanjani said, according to the Iran Press Service.
In October, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a "World Without Zionism" conference that Israel should be "wiped off the map."
Commenting on Iran's nuclear saber rattling, Rice told Hannity: "I think the fact is Iran is just getting more and more isolated and we're going to have to act on that sooner or later."
"If Iran keeps behaving in this way we're not going to have any choice" but to appeal to the United Nation's Security Council, she told Hannity. "They aren't demonstrating any willingness to actually negotiate."
Dr. Rice said the international community should take Iran's threats "as a warning about the Iranian regime and its policies to make certain that they are not going to get a nuclear weapon."
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