ISRAELI officials have slammed a senior minister's threat last week to strike Iran if it does not halt its nuclear drive, accusing him of using the issue for domestic political ends.
Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai criticised what he called Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz's "cynical use of central strategic issues for internal political reasons" in an interview with public radio.
Mr Mofaz, the infrastructure minister and a senior member of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima party, said in a newspaper interview that "if Iran continues its nuclear weapons program, we will attack it."
"Other options are disappearing. The sanctions are not effective. There will be no alternative but to attack Iran in order to stop the Iranian nuclear program," Mr Mofaz told Friday's edition of the top-selling Yediot Aharonot.
He stressed such an operation could only be conducted with US support.
A former defence minister and army chief, Mr Mofaz hopes to replace embattled Ehud Olmert as prime minister and at the helm of the Kadima party.
"These declarations are irresponsible and do not represent the position of our government," said a senior defence official quoted by public radio on Sunday.>>>
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