Speaking at a conference in France, Scheffer said he did not believe the international community would be able to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. "I am not positive about the world being able to stop Iran from fulfilling its ambitions," he was quoted as saying.
"It is a major challenge to prevent Iran from continuing to strive to get the bomb," Scheffer said, adding that his concern was "that the Security Council, as we speak, is rather incapable of coming to further conclusions on further sanctions."
As a result, Scheffer said there was no reason for Israel to give up its supposed nuclear capability. According to foreign media reports, Israel has an arsenal of several hundred nuclear bombs.
"As we all know, Israel never admits to what it has, but I do not see very many arguments for the Jewish state to abandon its potential," the NATO chief said. "What is as dangerous is the missile technology which [Iran] is also developing at a fast pace."
Government officials in Jerusalem, meanwhile, expressed concern that Scheffer's uncertainty that the international community will be able to stop Iran from fulfilling its nuclear ambitions reflected the opinion of more and more of the international arena.