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Olmert quoted on Iran attack

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Ehud Olmert was quoted as outlining a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites.

“Nobody is ruling it out,” the German magazine Focus quoted the Israeli prime minister as saying over the weekend, when asked about preemptive strikes on Tehran.

“It is impossible, perhaps, to destroy the entire nuclear program but it would be possible to damage it in such a way that it would be set back years,” Olmert was quoted as saying. “It would take 10 days and would involve the firing of 1,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles.”

Olmert’s office denied he had made the statements, and Focus withdrew the article from its Web site, citing translation problems.

But the alleged quotes drew reactions in Iran, which rebuffed them, and among Olmert’s critics in Israel, who accused him of muscle-flexing ahead of the publication of a commission of inquiry report on the failings of last year’s Lebanon war.

The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action as a last resort to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. But the United States and Britain are the only countries which have Tomahawk missiles.

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