US President Obama with PM Netanyahu at White House 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
The Washington Post's editorial board on Friday urged US President Barack Obama to move closer toward the Israeli demand to set "red lines," which if crossed, could prompt US military action against Iranian nuclear facilities.
Citing ongoing media speculation of a rift between Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over Iran, the newspaper's editorial board suggested that more clarity about US policy toward Iran could help heal relations between the two."If Obama really is determined to take military action if Iran takes decisive steps toward producing a bomb... he would be wise to say so publicly" by issuing "a more explicit presidential statement."
While the argument contended that there could be dangers to such a declaration, "including that the United States would start down a slippery slope toward war," it nonetheless encouraged the move. Doing so, the editorial argued, "would improve relations with Netanyahu and deter unilateral Israeli action - and it might well convince Iran that the time has come to compromise."
As recently as Thursday night, Defense Minister Ehud Barak acknowledged
the divergence in the US and Israeli timetables for potential military action against Iran, saying “the clock is ticking at a different pace.” He nonetheless, hailed US-Israel military cooperation and said he is "convinced that it will continue to be that way in every future test.”
Barak's comments came on the heels of last week's statement by Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey
that he did not want to be "complicit" if Israel chose to strike Iran's nuclear program.