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Ex-Israeli intelligence chief alludes to possible attack on Iran in three months

English.news.cn   2012-08-02 20:29:38            

JERUSALEM, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Israel's former Mossad Director Ephraim Halevy on Thursday alluded in an interview to a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities within the next three months, marking a further escalation in the psychological warfare between the two nations.

Halevy's statement, made during his interview with the New York Times, is based on Israel's disinclination for carrying out military operations in winter conditions, which could limit aerial visibility and access to targets.

"The next three months would be crucial to Iran as far as its nuclear program is concerned and its ties with Syria," Halevy added during another interview on Thursday morning with Israel Radio.

Halevy's statement joins a lengthening list of statements uttered by Israeli officials in recent weeks regarding the prospects of a possible attack against the Iranian nuclear facilities.

Both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned this week that time is running out for sanctions and diplomacy to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu told local Channel 2 TV that Israel reserves the right to decide whether to attack Iran, adding that the timing of any such attack is up to Israel alone.

"Time to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue is running out," he warned.

Barak on Wednesday said that "we have something to lose by this stretched time in which the sanctions take place as the Iranians are moving forward."

Halevy's statement was further highlighted by the reported objection of former and current security officials to a military operation; former senior security chiefs have come under fire for publicly criticizing the government's statements on Iran.

According to the New York Times report, U.S. officials said that Israeli officials were less war-driven in private talks.

"They are less confrontational in private," Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, told the newspaper.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu understands the consequences of military action for Israel, the U.S. and the region," he added.

Several U.S. top defense officials visited Israel recently in what appeared as attempts to prevent Israel from attacking the Iranian nuclear facilities, among them Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

On Tuesday, Israeli opposition chief Shaul Mofaz said that Netanyahu's recent statements on Iran are motivated by his fear of not being re-elected.


Panetta says U.S. not to allow a nuclear-armed Iran

JERUSALEM, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on Wednesday reiterated his country's commitment to curbing Iran's nuclear program, warning that Washington is prepared to use "other options" to ensure Tehran does not obtain an atomic bomb.

"We, Israel and the United States, share deep concerns about the violence taking place in Syria and Iran's nuclear ambitions. I want to reassert again that with regards to Iran, we will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons," Panetta said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday.  Full story

Panetta: U.S. prepared to implement "other options" to prevent nuclear Iran

JERUSALEM, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hinted on Wednesday that the United States is prepared to implement "other options" if Iran continues to work toward attaining nuclear weapons.

"If they (Iran) continue and if they proceed with a nuclear weapon, ... we have options that we are prepared to implement to ensure that does not happen." Panetta said during a visit to an army "Iron Dome" anti-missile battery deployed near coastal Ashkelon, just north of Gaza together with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Full story

Editor: Yang Lina
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