Iran Remains a Threat to Israel's Very Existence

[Telegraph-UK] Editorial - Amid the winks and nudges about a reduction of tension between America and Iran, it should not be forgotten that Tehran's policy, enunciated most forcefully by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is the destruction of Israel. That is already apparent in Iranian support for Hamas and Hizbullah. Possession of nuclear weapons would give it a further edge. While it is unlikely that Tehran would launch a direct atomic assault on the Jewish state, it would acquire greater leverage over its Arab neighbors as the undisputed hegemon in the Gulf, and could pass on nuclear know-how to its guerrilla proxies. Until Iran accepts the existence of Israel and suspends uranium enrichment, any responsible government in Jerusalem must consider it an existential threat to the Jewish state. A diplomatic solution would obviously be preferable to military action, which could convulse the Middle East and push the cost of oil through the roof - but not at any price. It is essential that the six countries negotiating with Iran are united in insisting that Israel's security must not be jeopardized. A deal over the head of the country most threatened by Iran would be both morally wrong and carry enormous political risks. In its essentials, Tehran remains inimical to Western interests. That should not be forgotten in handling a regime that has persistently lied over its nuclear program and, under Ahmadinejad, has stepped up calls for Israel's destruction.

2008-07-04 01:00:00

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