Israel Advises Japan to Increase Pressure on Iran: NHK

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Israeli President Shimon Peres urged Japan and the international community to coordinate its sanctions effort over "Iran's nuclear weapons program" saying a united front is the only way to deal with Tehran.

In an exclusive interview with NHK (Japan's national public broadcasting organization) in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Peres accused "a group of fanatical religious leaders (in Iran) of wanting nuclear bombs” and that increased pressure would force Iran to give up its nuclear program.

These accusations against Iran come after United States and Britain have announced new sanctions on Iran following last month's revelation by the International Atomic Energy Agency of suspected nuclear arms development by Iran.

On the possibility of an Israeli military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, Peres only said that economic and political sanctions should be strengthened before an unwanted situation develops, according to NHK.

Israel has been one of the loudest voices calling for a tougher line on Iran's nuclear program, but Israel has also been questioned about its own nuclear capability which has never been under inspection, observers say.

Observers also noted that NHK interview with Peres did not make any reference to the suspected Israeli nuclear arms, considered by Iran and most Arab countries to be the biggest threat in the Middle East to their national security.

While Israel's official policy doesn't deny nor confirm their nuclear arsenal, Iran says its nuclear program is designed for civilian and peaceful use and "it is strongly opposed to the manufacture, stockpiling and use of the nuclear weapons," and that diplomacy is the best solution to the standoff between Tehran and the West.

Iran, a Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT)-signatory, has called for the removal of all weapons of mass destruction from across the globe.

The UN General Assembly approved a draft resolution proposed by Iran on nuclear disarmament in October 2009 that called on all nuclear countries to annihilate their nuclear weapons under the supervision of international bodies. More than 100 countries voted for the resolution that also urged Israel to join the NPT and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its nuclear installations.

According to Al Jazeera TV network, Israel has produced at least 118 warheads with weapons grade plutonium. It also said that the Israeli Jericho Two missle has a range of 1500 kilometres and is believed to be able to carry a one megaton nuclear bomb, which is 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. It is believed a Jericho Three missile would be able to travel around 5,000 kilometres, bringing all of Iran, the Middle East and Europe within its range of mass destruction.

Peres, however, labeled Iran in his NHK interview as being "the greatest danger to Israel, Middle East and the World."

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