JERUSALEM - A senior Israeli official signaled on Saturday that there would be no unilateral attack on Iran in the coming weeks, saying that international pressure had kept Tehran's controversial nuclear program in check.
Speculation that Israel might attack Iranian atomic facilities alone, and soon, has soared given an unusually public dispute with the United States about how much time to allow for negotiations and sanctions to run their course before considering military action.
Amos Gilad, top aide to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, was asked in a television interview whether the Jewish high holidays, which begin on Sunday and end on Oct. 9, would be "quiet in terms of any initiative taken by Israel."
"What Israel will or won't do - I recommend that this remain behind closed doors," Gilad told Channel Two television in response. "But to the extent it is possible to foresee the holidays, it looks like it will be quiet....
"For now, as long as there is this unanimity, it seems to me that even the Iranians understand this and are not crossing the line...of implementing and building a nuclear bomb, not because they are merciful toward us, not because they like us, but because they fear a military response or another response," he said.