Israel - huge pressure not to attack Iran

2012-02-20 22:23

kalahari.com

Jerusalem - Israel is coming under increased pressure from Washington and Europe to hold off from attacking Iran over its disputed nuclear drive and allow time for a regime of tight international sanctions to kick in.

Pressure is being exerted from all directions, officials acknowledge, with Washington's concern over a pre-emptive Israeli strike reflected in the steady stream of senior officials arriving in Jerusalem for top-level talks.

The latest visitor was US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who on Sunday held a two-hour meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and held similar in-depth talks with Defence Minister Ehud Barak, whose "hawkish line" on Iran is worrying Washington, Haaretz newspaper reported on Monday.

Later this week, US intelligence chief James Clapper is also due to arrive, press reports said.

Barak, Netanyahu's de facto deputy, has been "summoned" to Washington next week, media reports said, ahead of a visit by the premier himself in early March.

"Israel is under pressure from all sides. The Americans don't want to be surprised and faced with a fait accompli of an Israeli attack," a senior Israeli official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"They are telling us to be patient and see if the international sanctions against Tehran will eventually work," he said.

In an interview with CNN this weekend, top US military commander Martin Dempsey gave a blunt assessment that it would be "premature" to launch military action against Iran.

For several weeks, Israel has blown hot and cold over the possibility of a pre-emptive military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, which much of the West believes masks a weapons drive.

Warlike tendencies

"For now, we are trying to nurture a certain vagueness, partly to push the international community to impose even tougher sanctions against Iran," he said.

"But at the same time, we are dealing with the usual polyphony from Israel's political class," he acknowledged.

The United States is not alone in wanting to curb the warlike tendencies apparent in some Israeli circles.

On Sunday, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said it would not be "wise" for Israel to take military action against Iran, echoing comments earlier this month by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"The solution is never military, the solution is political, the solution is diplomatic, the solution lies in sanctions," he told French Jewish leaders on February 8.

Even back home, Netanyahu is coming under pressure, with opposition leader Tzipi Livni accusing him of pursuing policies which isolate Israel.

"The prime minister's policies have brought about a situation in which the world is calling on us through loudspeakers to do this or not to do that," she told public radio on Monday.

"The whole world is running after us to stop us," she said.

Such policies, she charged, had meant Israel was "doubly isolated" - over the Iranian issue and over the stalled peace process with the Palestinians.

Conflict of interest

In an editorial entitled An American Warning, the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper urged the government to heed the warnings from Washington.

"Fear of Iran's nuclear programme is pushing Israel into a dangerous corner," it said.

"The state could find itself in a conflict of interest, or even on a collision course with the American administration just when it needs US support more than ever before."

Israel, it argued, "must listen to the warnings coming out of Washington and refrain, for now, from unilateral measures".

In 1981, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on the unfinished Osirak reactor outside Baghdad, leaving US officials stunned and earning it a sharp rebuke from its American ally.

Meanwhile, Iran on Monday deployed warplanes and missiles in an "exercise" to protect its nuclear sites and warned it may cut oil exports to more European Union nations unless sanctions were lifted.

The moves were announced the same day as officials from the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, arrived in Tehran for a second round of talks focused on "the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear programme".

Iran has repeatedly said it will not give up its nuclear ambitions, which it insists are purely peaceful.

Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  us  |  iran  |  iran nuclear programme
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
44 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Muizenberg - 10:31 AM
    Road name: Atlantic Road
    TRUCK ACCIDENT near Main Road - expect delays
  • Thursday Kuils River - 09:13 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R2999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your heart is big and you are sensitive to the needs of those around you. Your humanitarian side is emphasized today and you may...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.