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JERUSALEM — An Israeli Cabinet minister says if Iran chooses to continue pursuing a nuclear program it will face a "military" answer.

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz was responding Wednesday to the Iranian nuclear chief's warning that the Islamic Republic's program stands ready to build advanced centrifuges and further enrich uranium.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Ali Akbar Salehi says Iran won't be deterred by President Donald Trump's sanctions and withdrawal from the global nuclear deal.

Katz says if Iran presses forth it will face a "direct threat from the United States and its allies."

The U.S. withdrawal from the deal has already badly shaken Iran's economy, crashing its currency, the rial. Katz says Iran can either succumb to Trump or watch its economy collapse.

Israel and Iran are arch enemies.