Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor said he does not sense any
rupture in Israel's ties with the United States and stressed that it is
very important to maintain Washington's support, as well as that of the
American public, in an interview with Israel Radio on Monday.
Meridor's comments came one day after US ambassador Dan Shapiro also denied that there was
any crisis between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President
Barack Obama over the Iranian issue, in an interview with Channel 2.
definitely a narrative in the media right now – I'd say an overheated
about tension between the US and Israel over Iran," Shapiro said, adding
that this narrative does not "reflect the very close coordination and
work we've done together to address an issue that we perceive the same
which is the importance of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear
weapons." In his interview, Meridor denounced the public
speculation regarding a possible preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear
facilities as unnecessary and perhaps even beneficial to the Iranians.
said further that the international effort against Iran was taking its
toll on the Iranians, who may now fear enriching uranium to a higher,
bomb-grade level because of the knowledge they will encounter very
strong resistance if they cross the line towards acquiring a nuclear
He concluded by saying that the international community
needed to increase the pressure on Iran by strengthening the sanctions
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.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
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