Danny Ayalon: nuclear Iran could lead to another Hiroshima

The Hiroshima memorial

The Hiroshima memorial

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister has warned that Iran must be stopped from becoming a nuclear power in order to “prevent another Hiroshima."

Danny Ayalon, who is on a four-day official visit to Japan, made the comments after visiting the memorial for victims of the 1945 Hiroshima bomb.

An estimated 140,000 people were killed by the Hiroshima bomb, the first time that an atomic weapon was used.

Mr Ayalon wrote on his Facebook page: “If we want to prevent another Hiroshima the international community needs immediately to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

He is the highest-ranking Israeli official to have laid a wreath at the war memorial.

Mr Ayalon said before the trip that it was “aimed at further enhancing Israel's relationship with Japan.”

He added: "We have many areas of mutual interest and are both ancient civilisations with shared values."

Mr Ayalon’s itinerary while in Japan includes meetings with Yutaka Banno, Japan’s Foreign Secretary on the peace process and nuclear concerns, as well as a discussion with Japanese businessmen on trade ties.

He is also set to visit an art exhibition hosted by Prince Tomohito.

Last updated: 2:19pm, November 17 2010