Gabi Ashkenazi, the 19th IDF chief of staff
Gabi Ashkenazi, the 19th IDF chief of staff, 2007–2011. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi said on Thursday that Israel must be prepared for a possibile military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, alone if necessary.

During a lecture at the Institute for National Security Studies, Ashkenazi stressed that Israel's strategy on the Islamic republic must be a combination of several approaches.

"Israel must do all it can 'under the radar,' and combine that with paralyzing sanctions, but at the same time keep a reliable military option on the table with the willingness to use it if necessary," Ashkenazi said.

"When the moment comes, I don't know if we won't be alone, and for this reason Israel must also rely on itself," he said.

During his term as IDF chief, Ashkenazi was considered a supporter of a more moderate approach on Iran, in which all diplomatic options must be exhausted before any attack is launched.

Talks plea

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday jointly urged Iran to resume negotiations on its nuclear program, the chancellor's spokesman in Berlin said.

The two spoke by telephone, spokesman Steffen Seibert said. They united in an appeal to Iran to recognize the urgency of accepting the outstretched hand of the international community and enter into talks about the research.

International authorities suspect the advanced program is aimed at building nuclear weapons and not for peaceful purposes, as Iran claims.

Seibert said Netanyahu also welcomed a new round of economic sanctions by the European Union against Iran.