Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz said Friday that Israel will eventually attack Iraq if the United States does not launch a military operation.
In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Aziz said Iraq felt more threatened by Israel since the end of the Cold War."If the United States does not attack us, sooner or later Israel will," he said. "The Cold War is over for you (in the West), but the result here (in the Middle East) is the arrival of thousands of Jews in Israel, which is a potential cause of new wars."
Palestinians and Arab nations have opposed the arrival this year of tens of thousands of Soviet Jewish immigrants in Israel, charging they pose a threat to Arab residents of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip who fear they will be displaced.
Israel has repeatedly said it has no intention of attacking Iraq but has vowed to respond forcefully if it is attacked first.
Aziz told the El Pais correspondent in Baghdad that he did not know whether to be pessimistic or optimistic about proposed talks with the United States to resolve the gulf crisis.
"The United States has complicated something that was very simple," he said. "The United States has acted arrogantly and threateningly. We will not give in to pressures."
The Iraqi foreign minister said Iraq was "very disappointed" with Europe for not holding talks with Iraqi officials about the crisis.
"We know that the positions among the 12 European powers are not the same," Aziz said.