- LONDON (AP) -- Iran is secretly building up a stock of nuclear and ballistic
missiles that someday may be targeted at the United States, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
- ``Iran is unseen, unperturbed and undisturbed
... building a formidable arsenal of ballistic missiles, actually inter-continental
ballistic missiles'' that initially will reach the rest of the Middle East,
Netanyahu said in a BBC interview Sunday.
- ``Stage two it would reach Britain and
stage three, believe it or not, they actually plan to reach the eastern
seaboard of the United States, Manhattan,'' Netanyahu told interviewer
- ``Now this sounds fantastic, but Iran
is, wants to be a world power with the world ideology of fundamentalist
domination, seeing the West as its great enemy and it seeks to have the
weapons to back up that ideology.''
- ``That is even more dangerous than Saddam
(Hussein of Iraq) because there is a fanaticism, an ideological fanaticism
attached to these, to the acquisition of these weapons,'' Netanyahu said.
- He said Israel has tried to prevent Iran
from acquiring the technology for such weapons, ``which is coming primarily
- The Kremlin has insisted that Russia
is not allowing such a technology transfer.
- ``I spoke to President (Boris) Yeltsin
about this, President Clinton has taken important initiatives to prevent
Russia from supplying this technology, so has (British) Prime Minister
(Tony) Blair,'' Netanyahu said.
- Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives
passed a bill, aimed at Russia, that would punish foreign business interests
believed to be helping Iran develop ballistic missiles. President Clinton
has threatened to veto the bill.
- The United States considers Iran a rogue
state actively promoting terrorism and has tried to isolate it.
- Copyright 1997 The Associated Press