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Israel Continues To Press USA For Iran Strike

August 19, 2012
Israel Continues To Press USA For Iran Strike
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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: An upsurge in Israeli rhetoric warning of an imminent attack on Iran is aimed more at Washington than Tehran, and does not mean that the warplanes are firing up their engines. A plethora of media reports over the past week has sent shivers through financial markets by suggesting Israel might strike Iran’s nuclear facilities ahead of November’s U.S. presidential elections. However, senior Israeli officials say a final decision has not been taken, with government ministers still at loggerheads over the issue and the military hierarchy unhappy about the prospect of going it alone without full U.S. backing. But if U.S. President Barack Obama does not lay out his red lines in the coming weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may feel compelled to act, his inner circle says. “Tehran doesn’t see a U.S. strike on the horizon and is confident Washington will prevent Israel from attacking,” said a senior Israeli official who declined to be identified. “So Israel is looking for stronger public statements from Obama, either at the U.N. General Assembly or some other forum, that would change Iran’s assessment,” he added. While Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful, Western powers believe it is trying to produce an atomic bomb, which Israel views as an existential threat to itself. Netanyahu will travel to the General Assembly at the end of September and hopes to meet Obama to discuss the crisis. He wants to secure three commitments: a pledge the U.S. will attack if Iran does not back down, a tight deadline for negotiations with Tehran, and further sanctions. Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Aug-18/184975-israel-is-pus…?#ixzz240aAyYFJ (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)
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