An Israeli cabinet minister said world powers will take heed of his government’s concerns about a deal with Iran even as a former security adviser warned that Israel could still take matters into its own hands with a military strike.
For more than 15 years and more than any other world leader, Benjamin Netanyahu demanded sanctions against Iran to stop it from getting nuclear weapons. Now, as the sanctions are credited with weakening the Iranian economy enough to prompt a thaw between the U.S. and the Islamic nation, the Israeli prime minister is among the skeptics who remain unconvinced that anything significant has changed.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said all possible means must be tried before a military strike against Iran and that the U.S. is prepared to use force if needed to stop the Iranian development of an atomic bomb.
Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz gave cautious support to Russia’s proposal for eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons, which has made the U.S. put any military action on hold.
The U.S. and Israel began their biggest joint air and missile defense exercise today amid rising tensions with Iran and as American presidential candidates prepare for a foreign-policy debate expected to focus on the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said planned peace talks with the Palestinians are designed to maintain Israel’s Jewish identity and prevent the creation of another Iranian proxy on the country’s borders.
Israel called “deeply flawed” and “hypocritical” a United Nations resolution ratified by 181 countries that calls for a 2012 conference on a nuclear-free Mideast, and said it would not take part in the talks.