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Israeli minister threatens Iran

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Israel would destroy Iran if it were to come under Iranian attack, an Israeli Cabinet minister said.

“Israel will not stand quietly by should Iran try to use weapons against it,” National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told Channel 2 television Monday. “I say here that, yes, it would be the end of Iran.”

The threat by Ben-Eliezer, who as a former defense minister is well aware of Israel’s military capabilities, came as the Olmert government took part in an exercise meant to simulate a full-scale regional war.

Israel endorses U.S.-led efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program through sanctions, but has hinted it could resort to force if diplomacy is deemed a dead end. As for a retaliatory strategy, Israel is believed to have a nuclear arsenal aimed at guaranteeing that any enemy seeking its destruction also could be destroyed.

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