Israel’s Peres says Iran attack “more and more likely”

AFP – Israeli President Shimon Peres said “an attack on Iran” by Israel and other countries was “more and more likely.”

He told Israeli private television’s second channel: “The intelligence services of the different countries that are keeping an eye on (Iran) are worried and putting pressure on their leaders to warn that Iran is ready to obtain the nuclear weapon,” Israeli media reported.

“We must turn to these countries to ensure that they keep their commitments … this must be done, and there is a long list of options,” Peres declared.

Israel on Thursday completed a major civil defence drill in the Tel Aviv region aimed at simulating a response to conventional and non-conventional missile attacks, the military said.

On Wednesday, Haaretz newspaper reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak were seeking to win cabinet support for a strike on Iran, which Israel and the West suspect is looking to build an atomic bomb.

On the same day, Israel tested a rocket-propulsion system that press reports said was capable of firing ballistic missiles, although officials declined to comment on the specifics of the system and said it was a routine test.

A poll published by the Haaretz daily on Thursday found Israeli public opinion divided on a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, with 41 percent in favour, 39 percent opposed and 20 percent undecided.

Iran, meanwhile, declared that it would “punish” Israel in case of an attack on its territory.