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Israel reserves right to decide on military strike on Iran: DM

English.news.cn   2012-09-07 05:24:44            

JERUSALEM, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday said that although the Iranian nuclear threat is within Washington's main concerns, Israel and the United States are not on the same page regarding the time for a military strike, according to local media.

"The Iranian challenge is a mutual one, however, Israel and the United States' clocks are ticking at different times," Barak said at a toast for the Jewish New Year.

Barak also stressed that, at the end, the Israeli government is the one who will decide on "how to act," referring to a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

U.S. Army's Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, James Winnefield, arrived in Israel on Thursday for a series of meetings regarding Iran. His visit comes amid intensive debate between Israel and the United States as to when should the West attack Iran in order to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weaponry.

In recent months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Barak have publicly reiterated that Israel has the right and responsibility to defend itself against a nuclear Iran, which they say poses an existential threat.

U.S. officials, on the other hand, have tried to curb Israel's militant statements about a possible attack, with a string of senior diplomatic and security officials arriving in Israel in recent months to try to sway the prime minister and defense minister's outlook.

A Tuesday report in Israeli Ma'ariv newspaper revealed a supposed deal between the United States and Israel, according to which Washington will provide Israel with new, state of the art weapons, in a bid to head off an attack against Iran.

Editor: yan
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