Israel welcomes the possible resumption of international talks on Iran's nuclear program, but it must prepare for the chance they will fail, Israel's national Security Council chief said Wednesday.
"I am very happy about the resumption of talks between Iran and the big powers, particularly if it results in Iran abandoning its nuclear program. But we must prepare for their failure," Yaakov Amidror told Israeli public radio.
Amidror spoke a day after world powers known as the P5+1 -- five U.N. Security Council members plus Germany -- offered to resume long-stalled talks with Tehran over its contested nuclear program.
The offer came in the wake of tough new sanctions against Iran and rising rhetoric on the possibility of an Iranian attack against Tehran's nuclear activities.
Amidror said Israel's pledge to keep all options on the table, including a military strike, was key to pressuring Tehran to abandon its nuclear drive.
"If there is not a military alternative, they will not renounce their nuclear program," he warned.
Israel and much of the international community fear Iran's nuclear program masks a weapons drive, a charge Tehran denies, and it has been top of the agenda at talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington this week.
Amidror said the talks were conducted "in a very good atmosphere," but acknowledged "objectively there are differences."
"In Israel, we are close to the Iranian danger, and they are far away. They are a great power, and while we are certainly a strong country, we are certainly not a great power," he said.
Those differences mean Israel looks differently at the prospect of dialogue with Iran and the timeline available for talks to succeed or fail, he said.
But he added that Obama's statements backing Israel and warning that Washington would not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran were reassuring.
"The president of the greatest country in the world assured us of his engagement for the security of Israel. That is very important and I believe him," he said.
|Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved.||http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/32504|