Israel’s defense forces are raising the prospect of an operation to destroy Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

Senior government and military officials, alarmed by the failure of the international community to move against Iran, have issued warnings that Israel would consider unilateral action to stop
Tehran’s development of nuclear weapons, reports Middle East Newsline.

The clearest warnings yet came on the eve of another effort by the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate suspected Iranian violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The suspected violations include the unauthorized enrichment of uranium.

”The fact that a country like Iran, an enemy [of Israel] and which is particularly irresponsible, has equipped itself with
nonconventional weapons is worrisome,” Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya’alon was quoted as saying in Middle East Newsline. ”The combination in this case of a nonconventional regime with nonconventional weapons is a concern.”

”At the moment there is continuing international diplomatic activity to deal with this threat, and it would be good if it
succeeds,” Ya’alon added. ”But if that is not the case we would consider our options.”

Meanwhile, Iran said yesterday it had no problem ”in principle” with signing a deal allowing United Nations inspectors to
make unscheduled visits to all of the country’s nuclear
installations.

The announcement by Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi comes on the eve of a new visit by inspectors beginning Sunday that will last until Oct. 31, the U.N. deadline for Tehran to prove it is not
trying to develop nuclear weapons.

”Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program nor does it intend to embark on one,” Kharazi said in his address before the U.N. General Assembly. ”Thus we have nothing to hide and, in principle, have no problem with the additional protocol,” as the document that would allow the unscheduled inspections is called.

In Vienna, headquarters of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, diplomats said yesterday that more traces of highly enriched uranium had been found in Iran.

The United States says the Islamic regime is producing the uranium in a bid to manufacture nuclear weapons.

The latest uranium traces were found at a site that, according to one diplomat in Vienna, had been blocked to U.N. inspectors for months and had undergone ”considerable modifications” when they were finally allowed access.

Bush said that Iran’s nuclear weapons program would be on the agenda when he hosts a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin beginning today.

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