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News Brief

May 3, 2006
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Iran is a threat to Israel but also fears its military might, the Israeli military chief of staff said. Asked about the Iranian nuclear program, Lt-Gen. Dan Halutz said Tuesday that the Islamic republic could soon produce a bomb. “The moment there is a ‘red button,’ you have to take the worst possible scenario into consideration,” he told Yediot Achronot. Halutz cited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated calls for Israel’s elimination and his Holocaust denial. “We should not play this man down by presenting him as abnormal. He means what he says,” Halutz said. But he also expressed confidence in Israel’s military deterrence. “It is my assessment that the Iranians are afraid of us,” he said, “because they believe we have the capability to hit them.”

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