Home Page
Search :
Articles News Videos Art Images About Us Contact Us
Enter your email address to subscribe to our mailing list.
Image Gallery
Watch Our Video
Support Us


Last Update: 21:27 10/23/2012
Home --> MAIN NEWS
21:41 04/26/2012
Israel General Says Iran Atomic Bomb Unlikely

Israel's military chief has signalled a softening of his country's line on Iran, saying that he does not believe Iran will decide to produce an atomic bomb and describing its leadership as "very rational".
In the interview published on Wednesday in the Haaretz newspaper, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz's characterisation of Iran's rulers appeared to be at odds with warnings from Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, that Tehran's leaders might use nuclear weapons even at the risk of devastating retaliation.
"Iran is moving step-by-step towards a point where it will be able to decide if it wants to make a nuclear bomb. It has not decided yet whether to go the extra mile," said Gantz.
"In my opinion, [Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] will be making a huge mistake if he does that and I don't think he will want to go the extra mile."
Israel, believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, has long seen a nuclear Iran as an existential threat. Tehran denies seeking the bomb and says it is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes.
Both Israel and the US have declined to rule out military action against Iran should economic sanctions fail to curb its nuclear programme, saying all options were on the table.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Washington DC, Thomas Pickering, a former US ambassador to Israel, said:
"President Obama, has said that while all options are on the table, he's been very careful to say, that it would be only in the case when it's very clear that Iran is going for a nuclear weapon ... that the US will be prepared to consider all those options, whatever that might mean."

But Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi, Iran's ambassador to Russia, told the Bloomberg news agency on Wednesday that Tehran was considering a Russian proposal to halt the expansion of its nuclear programme in order to avert new sanctions.
This is a softening of the Iranian line, which held that the country, as a sovereign nation, has a right to a civilian nuclear programme.
It is also an about-face for Sajjadi who in February warned that Iran would "deliver retaliatory strikes on the United States anywhere in the world".
The Russian proposal asks that as a start, Iran freeze the number of centrifuges for uranium enrichment at current levels and place other restrictions on its centrifuge use. In return, global powers would refrain from imposing new sanctions on Tehran.
Reza Marashi, research director of the National Iranian American Council, told Al Jazeera that he "wouldn't be surprised" if Iran were willing to consider and negotiate the proposal.
"This tracks closely with many of the feelers that the Iranian government has been putting out over the past few weeks," said Marashi, who describes the Iranian statement as "willingness to negotiate limitations".
Sanctions Bite
Sajjadi's statement to Bloomberg, which was followed by a brief dip in crude oil futures, showed the fragile state of the global oil market and Iran's significant role in it.
"I don’t think that Iran has any interest in seeing [oil] prices fall since they are already struggling to sell their barrels. The latest Platts data shows they may be storing some 22 million barrels offshore that they cannot sell, mainly crude oil and the odd condensate cargo," Kate Dourian, Middle East editor at Platts, a firm that provides benchmark price assessments of energy markets, told Al Jazeera.
She said that the longer the sanctions continue, the longer it will take for Iran to restore its market share, something it is losing to rapidly to Iraq, where oil production and imports are on the rise.
"Iran cannot afford to lose customers unless they can figure out a way to bypass sanctions. But, even then, they will not be able to place all the barrels they would otherwise have sold into Europe once the EU sanctions are in effect since a lot of refiners are shying away from doing business with Iran," said Dourian.
She added that Iran is facing difficulty in receiving payment for its oil due to banking sanctions.
Torbjorn Tornqvist, chief executive of oil trader Gunvor, said in an interview on Tuesday that Iran is experiencing "huge problems" exporting oil, but there is unlikely to be a sharp drop in volumes once the European Union oil embargo comes into effect on July 1.
He added that Iran will be the single most important factor determining oil prices in 2012.
Iran this month began negotiations over its nuclear programme with six world powers for the first time in more than
a year, and has been hit with round after round of sanctions by the US, the EU and the UN, causing its currency to nose-dive against the US dollar and hiking inflation rates.
Western diplomats greeted Iran's first meeting with the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain with cautious optimism, and the two sides agreed to meet again in Baghdad on May 23.
Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, last week voiced scepticism that negotiations will curb Teheran's nuclear ambitions.

(Al Jazeera and Agencies)

Story Copy Right Link
News Topics
Carter Downplays US Influence on Israel, Palestine  21:27 10/23/2012
Palestinians Killed in Israeli Air Strikes  20:54 10/23/2012
Qatari Emir Calls for National Reconciliation  20:46 10/23/2012
Gaza-bound Aid Ship Boarded by Israeli Forces  01:22 10/21/2012
Palestinians Await Ship Attempting to Break Gaza Siege  19:09 10/17/2012
Israeli Parliament Dissolves for Early Vote  23:34 10/16/2012
Qatar: Gaza Aid Via Egypt, Not Israel  23:25 10/16/2012
Islamic Jihad: No Truce Reached with Israel  20:20 10/15/2012
Palestinians Killed in Israeli Air Strike  20:11 10/15/2012
Witnesses: Settlers Attack Olive Harvesters in Hebron  17:39 10/12/2012
Hezbollah Advances 'Will Help Palestinian Resistance': Brigades  17:35 10/12/2012
Drone Downed by Israel 'Sent by Hezbollah'  21:36 10/11/2012
Arab Lawmakers Say Early Vote Boosts Netanyahu's Chances  19:58 10/10/2012
Palestinian Resistance Factions Warn Israel Not to Invade Gaza  18:54 10/09/2012
Israeli PM Netanyahu Calls Early Election  18:45 10/09/2012
Man Hit by Israeli Airstrike Dies from Injuries  21:38 10/08/2012
Israeli Police Enter al-Aqsa Compound  17:51 10/05/2012
Thousands Join Islamic Jihad Rally in Gaza  17:54 10/04/2012
Abbas: UN to Admit Palestine within Weeks  17:01 10/02/2012
Jerusalem Convent Vandalized by Settlers  16:55 10/02/2012
Gaza Tunnel-traders Say Network at 10 Percent Capacity  17:12 09/28/2012
Abbas Seeks Upgrade of Palestinian UN Status  17:11 09/28/2012
Israeli PM Sets 'Red Line' over Nuclear Iran  17:05 09/28/2012
Palestinian Delegation Working Quietly at UN  17:26 09/26/2012
Olmert Avoids Jail over Fraud Sentencing  17:24 09/26/2012
Family Blames Sewage, Trash for Deaths of 8 Children in Gaza Camp  20:52 09/25/2012
Hamas Leader: Abbas Should End Security Coordination with Israel  20:46 09/25/2012
Israel and PA Discuss Gaza Offshore Gas Plans  20:40 09/25/2012
Ex-prisoner Explains Self-immolation Attempt  16:09 09/21/2012
Deaths in Israel-Egypt Border Shootout  16:07 09/21/2012
Featured Articles
Disclaimer Copyright 1999-2016 PalestineChronicle.com. All rights reserved RSS feed