Indyk: US expected Israel to strike Iran last spring

Former US ambassador says that officials in Washington feel they are being duped by Netanyahu and Barak.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 23, 2012 10:49
1 minute read.
Martin Indyk

Martin Indyk 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk said that the United States "was convinced that Israel would attack" Iran's nuclear program during the spring months earlier this year, speaking in an interview with Army Radio on Thursday.

After no Israeli strike took place, Indyk said that the US officials felt as though they had been duped by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's ruse.

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The former ambassador added that there is a sense within the US government that Washington is once again being misled by Israeli declarations and leaks.

Indyk's comments come amid public discussions of the gaps between Washington and Jerusalem's perspective on the Iranian nuclear program.

Earlier this week, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey highlighted the differences between the two allies: "You can take two countries, give them the same intelligence and reach two different conclusions. I think that's what’s happening here," he said on Sunday.

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Explaining why the Israelis saw Iran as a more pressing issue Dempsey added, "at the same time, we admit that our clocks ticking at different paces. We have to understand the Israelis; they live with a constant suspicion with which we do not have to deal.”

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A week earlier, former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit told Channel Two that he did not trust American assurances that Washington would stop Iran from going nuclear. Shavit said that Israel could only trust itself when it came to its own fate.

On the same day as the Shavit interview, the Yediot Aharonot daily carried a front-cover story saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were seeking to launch a strike against Iran this coming fall. The report claimed that the prime minister and the defense minister were encountering stiff resistance to the idea of ordering the strike now from military and intelligence chiefs.

Herb Keinon and Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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