________________________________________________________________________ Israel ponders Iranian remarks Copyright ) 1998 Nando.net Copyright ) 1998 Reuters JERUSALEM (January 15, 1998 07:01 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai has set up a team to assess the threat posed by arch-foe Iran following remarks by its new president attacking the Jewish state, Ha'aretz newspaper said Thursday. The group, led by Mordechai's top adviser David Ivri, will convene next week. Ivri also heads a strategic forum surveying the long-term Iranian military threat, the newspaper said. Iran and Israel had close ties until the Islamic revolution in 1979 when Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown. "Iran under the ayatollahs now poses the most ominous danger to our region and to the world," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday. Netanyahu pointed to what he said were Iranian efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Earlier this month, Iranian President Mohammed Khamati, viewed as a relative moderate, described the Israeli government as "a racist terrorist regime" and deplored U.S. support for the Israelis. According to Ha'aretz the new team would monitor four points: Supply of equipment to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla group in south Lebanon; support of terrorism against Israel; opposition to the peace process; and non-recognition of the existence of the state of Israel. The Defense Ministry would neither confirm nor deny the report.
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