Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that a nuclear-armed Iran would control the Persian Gulf, dictate far higher oil prices - and cause severe disruption to the global economy.
The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned the international community on Tuesday that a nuclear-armed Iran might have a devastating impact on the world economy.
He told a conference in Jerusalem on environmentally friendly economic growth that an Iran in possession of atomic weapons would most likely exert more pressure on the major Gulf oil producers and send energy prices soaring.
"Everyone needs to understand that if we're worried about rising oil prices today we shall be far more worried, if a nuclear Iran gains control over the energy centers in the Persian Gulf," Netanyahu said in his address, which was broadcast on Israeli public radio. "Anyone who is interested in stopping the manipulative use of oil production and its influence on global markets must for that reason enlist to stop Iran's nuclear race."
For peaceful purposes only?
Israel, alongside much of the western world, believes that Iran's nuclear program is also aimed at acquiring atomic weapons - a charge that Tehran has always denied.
Israelas the only - if undeclared - nuclear power in the Middle East has said all options are open to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, but it has been under pressure from Washington and Europe not to launch a pre-emptive military strike.
Also on Tuesday, Iran said it expected talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to continue despite the most recent setbacks.
"We are optimistic that upcoming meetings [between the two sides] will be proceeding in the right direction.
The IAEA, however, maintained that, given Iran's continued unwillingness to tackle the allegations of research on military nuclear applications, no further talks were scheduled for the time being.
hg/mll (Reuters, AFP)