Israel 'may attack Iranian nuclear programme' AP Occupied Jerusalem: Israel's deputy defence minister suggested in comments published on Friday that Israel might be forced to launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear programme the clearest statement yet of this possibility from a high-ranking Israeli official. "I am not advocating an Israeli pre-emptive military action against Iran and I am aware of its possible repercussions," Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh, a former general, told The Jerusalem Post daily. "I consider it a last resort. But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort." Government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Sneh's comments did not necessarily reflect the view of Israel's government or Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Olmert said he was confident in the US handling of the international standoff over Iran's nuclear programme. "I have enormous respect for President Bush. He is absolutely committed," Olmert said in an interview on NBC's Today show. "I know that America will not allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons because this is a danger to the whole Western world." The United States and its European allies have proposed a raft of sanctions to try to curb the country's nuclear development. Israel crippled Iraq's nuclear programme 25 years ago with an airstrike on its unfinished nuclear reactor. Experts say Iran has learned from Iraq's mistakes, scattering its nuclear facilities and building some underground. Sneh's tough talk is the boldest to date by a high-ranking Israeli official.