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Israeli army chief: Iran a danger to world

Sept. 22, 2009 at 10:12 AM

JERUSALEM, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The possibility of Iran becoming a nuclear power not only threatens Israel and the Middle East but the entire free world, Israel's top army general says.

In an interview on Army Radio, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the chief of general staff, said Monday while it is clear sanctions are the best option to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, Israel has the right to defend itself.

"All options are open, and the army's working premise is that we have to be prepared for that possibility, and that is exactly what we are doing," Ashkenazi said.

In response to statements made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he had received assurances from President Shimon Peres that Israel would not attack Iran, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Army Radio Monday, that Israel's policy regarding Iran's race for nuclear power had not changed.

"President Medvedev with all due respect will not decide what Israel's policy is … . Iran is forbidden to go nuclear, period," Ayalon said.

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