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Ya’alon: Military attack on Iran is last resort

Defense minister says Israel is willing to cooperate with Gulf states to deal with Islamic Republic’s nuclear threat

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Chief Test Pilot Alan Norman briefs Israel’s Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon in the cockpit of an F-35 while IAF Brig. Gen. Ya’akov Shaharabani, IAF Air Attache to the United States, observes. (Photo credit: courtesy: Lockheed Martin/ Angel Delcueto)
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Chief Test Pilot Alan Norman briefs Israel’s Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon in the cockpit of an F-35 while IAF Brig. Gen. Ya’akov Shaharabani, IAF Air Attache to the United States, observes. (Photo credit: courtesy: Lockheed Martin/ Angel Delcueto)

Israel will only take military action against Iran if all other options to stall the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program fail, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday.

In an interview with US television channel al-Hura, Ya’alon further stressed that Israel is prepared to cooperate with any Arab Gulf states that feel threatened by the Iranian regime’s apparent pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The full interview with the defense minister was set to be broadcast later Monday.

A military strike on Iran’s nuclear program was seemingly taken off the table in recent months as world powers have neared an agreement to curb uranium enrichment.

However, Israeli leaders have derided the reportedly emerging deal and vowed to do everything necessary to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

According to an Israeli Channel 2 report last week, Saudi officials offered Israel an air corridor to strike Iran in exchange for progress on the peace efforts with the Palestinians.

In an interview aired by the channel Sunday, recently retired IDF chief Benny Gantz hinted he had personally stopped military action against Iran from going forward over his four-year tenure.

Earlier Monday, a senior official traveling with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli leader would reveal details from an emerging nuclear deal with Iran to “uninformed” US lawmakers during his controversial speech to Congress on Tuesday.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told reporters covering the prime minister’s trip that Israel knows more about the agreement with Iran than many members of Congress.

“We know many details from the agreement being put together, details that we feel members of Congress are unaware of,” the official said, according to the Haaretz daily. “According to the information we have, the deal currently taking shape will leave Iran with the capability to build a nuclear weapon, if [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei makes a decision to do so.”

The official said Netanyahu would reveal some details of the agreement during his speech before both houses of Congress on Tuesday, according to the Ynet news site.

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