Vice Premier Silvan Shalom on Monday rejected a report that senior US officials had intimated to Iran that they would not stand by Israel if it were to strike the Islamic Republic.

"The sole disagreement between Israel and the US is in regard to timing," Shalom said in an interview with Army Radio. "The US is obligated to the existential and security interests of Israel. We are much closer than people think."

Shalom was responding to a Monday report in Yediot Aharonot which claimed senior US officials had reached out to Iran through secret channels to say they would not back Israel in the event of a strike in attempts to avoid retaliation against US interests.

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