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October 31, 2013 3:30 pm

Israeli Minister Steinitz: We Hope That the Diplomatic Process With Iran Will Succeed

avatar by Zach Pontz

Israeli minister Yuval Steinitz in 2012. Photo: Israel's Ministry of Finance.

Israel is holding out hope that it won’t have to launch a military operation to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz told the BBC Thursday.

Asked by reporter Stephen Sackur whether the West’s recent engagement with Iran makes it “inconceivable” that Israel would carry out a unilateral strike on the country, Steinitz said Israel reserves the right to strike any country it deems an “existential threat,” but that he wouldn’t elaborate any further as Israel hopes “that the diplomatic process will succeed.”

Pushed by Sackur to respond to a recent comment made by a U.S. official  that an Israeli strike on Iran would be “strategic suicide” were an agreement to be met between the country and Western nations concerned with its nuclear program, Steinitz said he disagreed with the assessment but reiterated his hope for a diplomatic solution.

Watch a video of Steinitz’s interview on the BBC here.

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