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Israel and US on brink of diplomatic standoff over Iran

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

A report in the Israeli media alleges that America and Israel are on the brink of a diplomatic standoff over the issue of Iran. The claim has been made by Yedioth Ahronoth’s correspondent in the United States, Orly Azoulay.

Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, responded to a statement made by the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who said that Israel can delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Oren insisted that even a one-year delay with Iran’s nuclear programme is a considerable amount of time in Middle Eastern terms, that diplomacy has not worked and Israel has reached a crucial point where important decisions have to be made.

The newspaper’s website quoted the Israeli ambassador as saying that one year, two, three or four years represent a considerable amount of time in the Middle East. Just look, he said, at what’s transpired in the past year alone. Oren added that Israel would launch an attack on Iran if economic sanctions do not achieve the desired effect.

Azoulay noted that the Dempsey and Oren exchange reveals the tension in relations between the Obama administration and Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The journalist pointed out that General Dempsey is familiar with Israel’s military capabilities and so his remarks have serious implications.