Israeli official signals no war is imminent with Iran

JERUSALEM Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:57pm EDT

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A senior Israeli official signaled on Saturday that there would be no unilateral attack on Iran in the coming weeks, saying that international pressure had kept Tehran's controversial nuclear program in check.

Speculation that Israel might attack Iranian atomic facilities alone, and soon, has soared given an unusually public dispute with the United States about how much time to allow for negotiations and sanctions to run their course before considering military action.

Amos Gilad, top aide to Defence Minister Ehud Barak, was asked in a television interview whether the Jewish high holidays, which begin on Sunday and end on October 9, would be "quiet in terms of any initiative taken by Israel".

The question followed an extensive discussion with Gilad about Iran's nuclear program, which the West suspects is geared toward producing bombs despite Tehran's denials, and about the violent outrage sweeping the Muslim world in response to an American video clip mocking the Prophet Mohammad.

"What Israel will or won't do - I recommend that this remain behind closed doors," Gilad told Channel Two television in response.

"But to the extent it is possible to foresee the holidays, it looks like it will be quiet, if you exclude all kinds of events like some maniac or hate crimes that set the entire world on fire."

Gilad played down the spat with Washington, saying that Israel and its foreign allies agreed that "the Iranian threat is a central threat" and that awareness of this cooperation had prevented Tehran producing weapons.

"For now, as long as there is this unanimity, it seems to me that even the Iranians understand this and are not crossing the line .. of implementing and building a nuclear bomb, not because they are merciful toward us, not because they like us, but because they fear a military response or another response," he said.

Iran says its uranium enrichment program, which could yield the material for a nuclear warhead, is designed purely for energy and medical needs.

Israel sees a mortal threat in a nuclear-armed Iran. Though widely assumed to have the region's sole atomic arsenal, the Israelis lack the conventional firepower to deliver lasting damage to Iran's distant, dispersed and well-defended facilities, and have said they would prefer superior U.S. forces to do the job.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Comments (13)
Logical123 wrote:
The Israeli leaders are lying lunatics. Iran is absolutely no danger to anyone and is not developing nuclear weapons. These madmen in Tel Aviv are just inflaming the situation based on complete lies to distract the world from the miserable state of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

No one is even talking about the Palestinians. It is all Iran, Iran and Iran. It is amazing how effective Israeli propaganda can be and how stupid Western leaders are to believe it.

Sep 15, 2012 2:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:
@Logical123

Why wont Iran recognize Israel as a nation and try to open up diplomatic ties with them? Why wont they stop supporting hezbollah who attacks Israeli citizens with missles? Why wont they go on record and say that they will never pose a threat to Zionism? Instead they say they will wipe the zionist off the map, they don’t recognize Israel as a country, they support Hezbollah, the holocaust never happened, and they threaten Israel and the US. It is a two way street, they could buy themselves much time by stating they have nothing against Israel and they recognize them as a nation.

The Palestinian issue is of their own making. They decided to attack Israel, and refused to integrate. They continue to live in horrible conditions because they are unwanted by everyone in the middle east. Perhaps they should reflect on their actions of the last 60 years, get a clue that it has gotten them no where, and reverse course. But Iran and other Muslim nations have no interest in that. They use the Palestinians as pawns to wage war against Israel.

Sep 15, 2012 3:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
matthewslyman wrote:
@Logical123: It is only amazing how bold you are in discussing something you appear to know little about.

• Qom?
• Parchin?
• All the secrecy, evasion and actual breaches of their treaty obligations under the NPT (documented and acknowledged unanimously, unusually, by the IAEA and all the permanent members of the Security Council)?
• 20% enrichment of uranium for “medical isotopes” that Iran could have obtained more cheaply (in economic and human capital) on the global market?

Can you explain what sort of evidences would convince you?

Sep 15, 2012 4:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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