Israel's foreign minister is rebuffing international appeals for his country not to attack Iran's nuclear sites, saying the Jewish state will not bow to foreign pressure.
In an interview Wednesday with Israeli Channel 2 TV News, Avigdor Lieberman rebuffed suggestions that American and Russian warnings against striking Iran would affect Israeli decision making, saying the decision "is not their business."
"The security of the citizens of Israel, the future of the state of Israel, this is the Israeli government's responsibility," Lieberman said.
Israel fears Iran is developing a nuclear bomb — something Tehran denies — and has sent a series of hints that it may attack Iran's nuclear program.
On Wednesday, Russia's deputy foreign minister warned that military action would have "catastrophic" consequences.
"Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations," Gennady Gatilov said at a press conference.
"Therefore I hope Israel understands all these consequences …and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves."
The U.S. and western nations believe tough economic sanctions against Tehran must be given time to work. This week, the U.S. military chief said an Israeli attack would be "not prudent."
UN mission a failure
Also on Wednesday, the United Nations nuclear agency acknowledged its renewed failure in trying to probe suspicions that Tehran has worked secretly on atomic arms, in a statement issued shortly after an Iranian general warned of a pre-emptive strike against any nation that threatens Iran.
Just hours before the InternationalAtomic Energy Agency team left, Iranian Gen. Mohammed Hejazi, who heads the military's logistical wing, warned that his nation will "not wait for enemies to take action against us."
"We will use all our means to protect our national interests," he told the semiofficial Fars news agency.