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Iran is our biggest concern, say Israelis

A majority of Israelis say their biggest concern is Iran and they also believe the Jewish state is struggling for survival.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2006 12:43 IST

A majority of Israelis say their biggest concern is Iran and they also believe the Jewish state is struggling for survival, two opinion polls published on Friday showed.

The polls reflect fear over Iran's nuclear programme and frustration at the army's failure to crush the Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla group in Lebanon during the recent war.

A poll in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily said 53 per cent of Israelis believed Iran was the most worrying factor in the coming Jewish New Year, which begins at sunset on Friday. Only 12 per cent cited a renewal of hostilities with Hezbollah.

The second poll, published in the Jerusalem Post, said 75 per cent of Israelis believed Israel was struggling for survival.

Many Israelis feel the outcome of the 34-day Lebanon war, which ended under a UN truce on August 14, has left the country more vulnerable in a region of Muslim foes.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Sunday the world might have as little as "a few months" to avoid a nuclear Iran and called for sanctions.

Iran, whose president last year called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," says it is seeking nuclear power not weapons.