'Israel-US rift undesirable but it's not first time'

Deputy PM says Washington-US alliance transcends lines of parties and establishments.

Dan Meridor 311 (photo credit: The Israel Project)
Dan Meridor 311
(photo credit: The Israel Project)
Clashes between Israel and the United States are not desirable, but the two allies have dealt with similar disagreements before, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said Sunday morning in relation to the Iranian threat.
In an interview with Israel Radio, the Intelligence Agencies Minister said that the alliance between Washington and Jerusalem crosses the lines of parties and establishments, and bears political, security and economic significance.
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Meridor added that Israel has succeeded in bringing the issue of Iran's nuclear program to international awareness, and the sanctions have caused Tehran to fear the world's reaction to its nuclear program. 
However, Meridor said, Iran has not halted its nuclear program and continues to enrich uranium. "It is important that Iran understand that the world is serious and determined to stop it from acquiring a nuclear bomb."
On Thursday, Meridor spoke out against setting red lines for Iran, in remarks that contrasted with those recently asserted by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
"I don't want to set red lines or deadlines for myself," he told Army Radio, when asked how much time remained before force against Iran should be used.
Meridor urged the international community to intensify sanctions against Tehran, "so it understands that the price it is paying is mounting and that the only way to be rid of it is to stop the (nuclear) race, to arrive at an agreement, or an international understanding, that it is calling it quits."
"You always consider other options, for when everything else is exhausted. And I think that, for now, we have to continue with the pressure," he added.
Without mentioning names, Meridor lamented what he called "the excessive chit-chat of recent months" in Israel about how and whether to tackle its arch-foe.
Reuters contributed to this report