Monday, April 24, 2006

Iran 'Worst Threat to Jews Since Hitler'

Iran's nuclear programme is the most serious threat faced by Jews since the Nazi holocaust, Israel's defence minister has said. Shaul Mofaz said: "Of all the threats we face, Iran is the biggest. The world must not wait. It must do everything necessary on a diplomatic level in order to stop its nuclear activity."

He added: "Since Hitler we have not faced such a threat." READ MORE

Iran insists that its nuclear programme is aimed solely at producing energy, and that it has no ambitions to acquire an atomic arsenal.

But calls by Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for Israel to be "wiped from the map" have increased tensions between the two countries.

Israel has so far endorsed American efforts to curb Iran's nuclear programme through possible sanctions.

Earlier today Mr Ahmadinejad said he did not think the US would go through with its threats.

"I think it is very unlikely for them to be so stupid to do that," he said. "I think even the two or three countries who oppose us are wise enough not to resort to such a big mistake."

Mr Mofaz said: "Pressure must be applied on the Iranians to ensure that they realise there is no returning from the path they are taking."

Shaul Mofaz is likely to surrender the Defence Ministry to the more moderate Labour Party chief Amir Peretz in the next Israeli coalition government.