A senior Israeli official says his country has not ruled out military action against Iran's nuclear facilities though it prefers diplomacy for now. The official also says Israel has informed Syria that it is interested in resuming peace talks. Robert Berger reports from the VOA bureau in Jerusalem.
Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz says all options are on the table when it comes to dealing with Iran's nuclear program.
Mofaz says Israel has sent a clear signal that the military option is one possibility for stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But in an Israel Radio interview, he said war would be a last resort.
"At this time, international sanctions are the right course of action and they should be intensified," he said.
Mofaz, who met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington earlier this week, said Israel and the United States have agreed to review the effectiveness of sanctions at the end of the year.
Israel has grown increasingly alarmed about Iran's nuclear program since late 2005, when the Iranian president threatened to wipe the Jewish state "off the map."
Turning to Syria, Mofaz said Israel is interested in reviving peace talks, which collapsed seven years ago.
He said that Israel has sent secret messages to Syria, but has not received a response. Mofaz did not reveal the contents of the messages, but on Friday, an Israeli newspaper said Israel told Syria it is prepared to withdraw from the strategic Golan Heights in exchange for full peace.
Israel captured the Golan from Syria 40 years ago this week, but there is little enthusiasm here for giving it back. A poll shows that 84 percent of Israelis oppose a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights.