Barak: Peace deal must include end to conflict 9/21/09
"Addressing the Iranian nuclear threat, on the backdrop of the Russian president's claim that Israel had promised not to strike in Iran, (Defense Minister Ehud)Barak said that the Jewish state "is not taking any option off the table. It means what is says, and it advises other countries to act the same way."
Ayalon: Iran attack is still an option
By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 21, 2009
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon insisted Monday that the military option against Iran was still on the table, rejecting comments made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last week and published Sunday.
Ayalon told the Reuters news agency that Medvedev's statement did not guarantee Israel would not attack Iran's nuclear facilities, should the international diplomatic push to stymie its nuclear aspirations prove futile.
"It is certainly not a guarantee. I don't think that, with all due respect, the Russian president is authorized to speak for Israel and certainly we have not taken any option off the table."
In a transcript of the interview with Medvedev released by the Kremlin on Sunday, The Russian president hedged on the question of whether Russia would support Iran if it were attacked by Israel.
Although Russia has no defense agreement with Iran "this does not mean we would like to be or will be indifferent to such an occurrence... But my Israeli colleagues told me they were not planning to act in this way, and I trust them," Medvedev said.
According to Reuters, President Shimon Peres made the pledge to Medvedev during a meeting in the Russian resort of Sochi in August.
"When he visited me in Sochi, Israeli President Peres said something important for us all: 'Israel does not plan to launch any strikes on Iran, we are a peaceful country and we will not do this'," Medvedev said.
The role of Peres as president is mainly ceremonial and he does not determine policy.