Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Thursday evening that Israeli and US clocks are ticking at different times with regards to Iran.

"Israel will make its own decisions about future security," Barak said during a toast for the New Year of the Independence Party in Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds. He added that Israel should make no mistake about US preparations to deal with the Iranian challenge, saying: "the Iranian challenge is a mutual one, however, Israel and the US's clocks are ticking at different times."

Barak further emphasized that "Israel reserves the right to make sovereign decisions on Iran and the US respects that."

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Earlier on Thursday Barak met with the US Army's vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Winnefeld, who is in Israel for a working visit. He has been holding meetings with his IDF and defense establishment counterparts on Israeli security and defense issues.

Meanwhile, former minister Tzachi Hanegbi said Thursday that Israel is facing 50 of the most fateful days in the history of the State of Israel, speculating about a potential Israeli military strike on Iran.

"Prime Minister [Binyamin Netanyahu] will have to make decisions, all of which will have costly repercussions," Hanegbi was quoted by Makor Rishon as saying. "When we say a [military] conflict has a price, we do so because we want to avoid making our children and grandchildren pay that price."

However, Hanegbi added, the alternative could also be costly. "Reconciling with a nuclear Iran has a cost, the practical implications of which would be a nuclear arms race in the entire Middle East."

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