Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said the option of an Israeli attack against Iranian nuclear facilities is "still on the table" though increasing pressure on Tehran from the EU in the coming weeks could help jump start negotiations.
In an interview with the Association Press in New York where he is attending the annual United Nations General Assembly, Terzi cautioned that attacking Iran is an option of last resort that would have dire consequences for the region, but noted that "‘it is hard to contest the fact that Israel feels deeply threatened."
"The card of military intervention by Israel to hit Iranian nuclear sites is certainly a card that is still on the table," the minister said.
"I consider it an option of extreme last resort that would have such a grave backlash that everything must be done so that this does not happen," he added.
"The military card is an extreme option in a game that is playing itself out, and that must end with an agreement and Iran’s enactment of U.N. resolutions," Terzi said
European Union member states are expoected to agree on a new round of sanctions against Iran at a meeting in Luxembourg on October 15. These sanctions are likely to focus on Iran’s financial and energy sectors.
"The military card is an extreme option in a game that is playing itself out, and that must end with an agreement and Iran’s enactment of U.N. resolutions," Terzi said.
In his address to the General Assembly on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Iran will have enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon by next summer.
Holding up a cartoon-like drawing of a bomb with a fuse, Netanyahu literally drew a red line just below a label reading "final stage" to a bomb, in which it was 90 percent along the path of having sufficient weapons-grade material.
He repeated that a red line “must be drawn on Iran's nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target."
"Netanyahu’s speech was presented very efficiently," Minister Terzi said. "He clarified, graphically ... where the red line is."