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Israeli think tank says only military strike will stop Iran: Report

Associated Press
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Nothing short of a military strike will stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, an Israeli newspaper quoted a respected Israeli think tank as concluding on Friday.

"There is no longer a possibility for effective sanctions to stop Iran," retired Brig.-Gen. Zvi Shtauber, of Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies, told The Jerusalem Post.

"Our conclusion is that without military action you won't be able to stop Iran," Shtauber said.

Shtauber and former Israel Air Force intelligence officer Yiftah Shapir compiled the institute's annual report on the military balance in the Middle East.

Shtauber would not comment on The Jerusalem Post article, and said he would not comment on the report until it is released Jan. 2. Shapir also declined to comment.

The article did not quote from the report.

Last year, the think tank called Iran's negotiations with the international community an attempt to buy time as the Islamic nation pushed ahead with its nuclear weapons program.

Iran says its nuclear program is designed to produce energy, not arms. But Israel, like the U.S. and other countries, is skeptical of the Iranian claim.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly has called for Israel's destruction, and Israel considers Iran to be its most formidable enemy.

A proposed U.N. Security Council would impose sanctions on Iran, but Russia and European nations have failed to resolve differences over the wording.

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