JERUSALEM (Reuters) - President Shimon Peres added to a debate raging in Israel over whether to attack Iran, when he said on Friday that a military option to stop the Islamic republic from obtaining nuclear weapons was nearer.
Asked by Channel Two News if ”something was bringing us closer to a military option rather than a diplomatic one,“ Peres said: ”I believe so, I estimate that intelligence services of all these countries are looking at the ticking clock, warning leaders that there is not much time left.
“Iran is nearing atomic weapons and in the time left we must turn to the world’s nations and demand (they) fulfill their promise ... which is not merely passing sanctions. What needs to be done must be done and there is a long list of options.”
Israeli media has been rife with speculation this week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working to secure cabinet consensus for an attack on Iranian nuclear installations.
Western powers, including Israel, suspect Tehran of developing nuclear weapons -- something Iran denies -- and have imposed sanctions in an attempt to curb its program.
Iran, which opposes Israel’s existence, says it is enriching uranium only to power reactors for electricity generation.
Though no direct threats of military action on Iran have been made by Netanyahu, both Israel and the United States have repeatedly hinted at possible use of force, saying all options were on the table.
Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Louise Ireland