Jerusalem: Israel has said that US pressure will not affect its moves to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman saying that "we will act independently in our own interest".

Israel did not "dictate anything" to the US regarding the threat posed by Iran's atomic ambition, he said.

"US pressure would not affect Israeli thinking on how to cope with the threat posed by Iran's nuclear programme," the ultra-nationalist foreign minister was quoted as saying by a newspaper.

Asked about comments made last week by US President Barack Obama, who said he was "not bluffing" about attacking Iran if it were to build a nuclear weapon, the hawkish Israeli Foreign Minister said his country did not "dictate anything" to Washington.

"It is definitely important to discuss the issue in the appropriate forums and make decisions quietly and responsibly. All this chatter does not help anybody," Lieberman said.

In response to a query as to what Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should tell Obama when the two leaders meet in Washington to ensure that Israel is not left alone to deal with the Iranian threat, Lieberman said the sides would exchange opinions but ultimately Israel would "act in its own interests".

"President Obama definitely doesn't need our advice," the Israeli Foreign Minister said, adding, "We are an independent sovereign state, and at the end of the day, the State of
Israel will make the most correct decisions as we understand them."

Israel has so far maintained that a nuclear Iran is a cause of concern for the whole international community, and not just the Jewish state, and has launched a major diplomatic offencive to foil the Islamic Republic's ambitions through tough sanctions.


(Agencies)