Thursday, December 31, 2009

Israel & U.S. "not discussing" Iran strike ...

Reuters/ Here

" ... "I'm very confident in America's commitment to dissuading Iran from enriching uranium on its soil, which is our common goal," Oren told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"Our positions on Iran completely dovetail and we have very close cooperation and communication."

The diplomatic stalemate has set off speculation that the Israelis, perhaps fearing a shift by Washington to a Cold War-style policy of containing a nuclear-armed Iran, would make good on veiled threats to hit their arch-foe preemptively.

Asked whether Israel is facing any U.S. pressure over the issue of possible military action, Oren said: "It's not a subject that comes up. It's not a subject of discussion. It's not a subject of conversation between us because we're not there yet. We're far away from that....

Under Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, the United States last year turned down an Israeli purchase request for refueling planes and specialized "bunker-buster" bombs, in what was widely perceived as a warning not to try to take on Iran alone.

Asked if there had been similar refusals of strategic ordnance since he took office in June, Oren said: "Nothing, nothing. It is not a subject of discussion between the government of Israel and the Obama administration."

Israel is widely assumed to have the region's only atomic arsenal, designed for last-ditch self-defense. But some independent experts believe its conventional air force is too small to deliver lasting damage to Iran's nuclear facilities, which are distant, dispersed and fortified."

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