News / Middle East

US Contradicts Israeli Official on Iranian Weapons

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak (January 2012 file photo)
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak (January 2012 file photo)
VOA News
The U.S. still believes that Iran is not on the verge of building a nuclear weapon, despite comments by Israel's defense minister that Washington has changed its assessment. 
 
A National Security Council spokesman confirmed Friday the U.S. government continues to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon, and believes there is time to continue diplomatic efforts to dissuade it from doing so.
 
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio on Thursday that a new U.S. intelligence report brings Washington's assessment closer to the Israeli intelligence community's view that the Islamic Republic has made "significant" progress toward military nuclear capability.
 
Barak was commenting in response to a question about a report by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz earlier Thursday. The report said President Barak Obama had received a new National Intelligence Estimate report echoing the Israeli assessment of Iran's progress toward nuclear weapons capability.
 
Haaretz on Friday quoted an unnamed "senior Israeli official" as saying that due to the Iranian nuclear threat, the "sword at our throat is a lot sharper than the sword at our throat before the Six-Day War" in 1967, one of the four times Israel fought the armies of its Arab neighbors. 
 
The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said Friday that Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to attack Iran's nuclear sites before the U.S. election in November but that the top officials of Israel's military and intelligence agencies all oppose attacking Iran at this time.
 
The West suspects Iran wants to build nuclear weapons. Iranian officials have in the past threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. Israel has hinted at an attack if diplomatic efforts and sanctions fail to eliminate Iran's nuclear ambitions.
 
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 13, 2012 11:33 AM
I do not know how much longer a people's patience can be stretched to accommodate a threat to their existence. Iran says wipe Israel out of the map. USA says use delay approach to coax them to change their mind. This only comes from a sleeping president who looks but cannot see, or who pretends to be sleeping while fully mindful of the house on fire. I do not know now if to advise another long waiting till November, will patience burst? No one else but Barak Obama is loving the game, having hiccups when Israel threatens to move. The CIA and FBI should investigate how the president operates - whether he's not implicitly arming and supporting Ahmadinejad in all of this. Only a sheer force of arm or no fly zone can deter Tehran. Every other measure is a waste of time and effort. Iran should not be given the liberty of time and space to achieve its inhuman aim, and Obama must stop paying lip service to issues of urgent importance that gives Tehran the time to perfect and carry out the evil.


by: Joe from: USA
August 12, 2012 8:26 PM
I have to admit. Reading all the Iranian comments here really made me laugh ! Saying that Iran has a right to own a nuclear bomb while at the same time, shouting to wipe a country. Seriously, do you really think we'll believe that their leaders want peace after making public declarations of destroying a country?

I have no idea how Iranian people let this insane people lead their country (Actually, I don't really think they have a choice, isn't it?). But well, I'm not surprised. After seeing all that happened in the Arab countries.. Arab leaders shooting their own people everywhere, and then claiming that Israel is responsible for that.
You're worshiping Islam, while the only thing Islam ever contributed to this world is death. Everywhere.
So let me tell you something. Arab nations cannot survive without Israel. I mean, who will they blame of their issues if Israel will not exist? Think about that.


by: Julian Leonard from: Durham UK
August 12, 2012 3:29 PM
John WV from USA I'm RIGHT WITH YOU! The Facts of this situation seem to have become lost in a TWISTED NARRATIVE!

There is NO justification for SANCTIONS, let alone MILITARY AGGRESSION against Iran. Iran and Syria's ONLY crime it to continue to remind and oppose the ILLEGALITY of ISRAELI actions on the World's stage.

That the USA has to bend to every Israeli WHIM speaks volumes! The economic and military resources of the USA seem to have been almost HIJACKED for another nation's use.


by: new_york_loner from: New York _USA
August 12, 2012 11:08 AM
The Voice of America is being gagged...I cannot get a post published here...I obeyed the TOS...I am banned for voicing unpopular and/or contradictory views...I criticized the US-Israel "special relationship"...such criticism is now verboten in Amerika?

Raus!


by: JohnWV from: USA
August 11, 2012 10:59 AM
However did we get it all so backwards? As a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty, Iran has an internationally recognized right to develop and implement nuclear technology. Israel rejected the NPT and has no such right. Yet, the Jewish state has ICBM nukes and openly threatens Iran; actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not Iran, should be sanctioned and forced to reveal its nuclear machinations to IAEA inspection. However did we get it all so backwards?

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 13, 2012 11:41 AM
It's not about who supports what or signs what treaty. It's about who is sane and who's insane. Iran threatens to wipe Israel out of the world map. Can't you imagine that nuke in hands of a terrorist regime like Iran is like gun in the hands of a madman? Can you cite one place Israel has threatened Iran except in the wake of the nuclear saga? And Israel here is justified to fear because Iran's nuclear program is aimed at it. Please remove blind defense and be realistic and rational.


by: JohnWV from: USA
August 11, 2012 10:51 AM
Iran is only Israel's current fixation. America's entire electoral system has been corrupted by Netanyahu's Israel, AIPAC, Israel Firsters and ingenious distribution of enormous amounts of Jewish money. Our representative democracy is nearly defeated and the destruction of America as we know it well underway. Termination of the criminal treachery and treason demands immediate priority. The Government of the United States must again serve American interests, not the Jewish state's relentless pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and apartheid supremacist empire in, and beyond, the Mideast.


by: JohnWV from: USA
August 11, 2012 7:27 AM
However did we get it all so backwards? As a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty, Iran has an internationally recognized right to develop and implement nuclear technology. Israel rejected the NPT and has no such right. Yet, the Jewish state has ICBM nukes and openly threatens Iran; actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not Iran, should be sanctioned and forced to reveal its nuclear machinations to IAEA inspection. However did we get it all so backwards?

In Response

by: patrik from: USA
August 12, 2012 1:48 PM
Look, baby: Iran is threatening to wipe whole Israel off the map and you are trying to pickture these Islamic fascists as peaceful mullah? Similarly, John (if it’s your real name), how would you react if someone decides to destroy you?
Who is sponsoring Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists, officially recorded in the US list of terrorist groups? Who is organizing killings of innocent Israelis in other countries, including new Delhi, Tbilisi? And, if your memory is not too short, Just in July 20,2012 five Israelis tourists and a Bulgarian tour bus driver were killed and dozens of others tourists injured during terrorist explosion organized by Iran and Hezbollah in the Bulgarian town Burgas.
Everybody needs real friends and I have several best Jewish friends. We are not isolated and each country also needs allies, including in the Middle East and Israel is one of the most democratic, trusted and loyal friends of USA. So, don’t put things upside- down, trying blackmail or bump this friendship, and stop polluting the website, even if you found there some of your Iranian countryman. And, lastly could you sign-in with your real name, Jamal?


by: JohnWV from: USA
August 11, 2012 7:26 AM
Iran is only Israel's current fixation. America's entire electoral system has been corrupted by Netanyahu's Israel, AIPAC, Israel Firsters and ingenious distribution of enormous amounts of Jewish money. Our representative democracy is nearly defeated and the destruction of America as we know it well underway. Termination of the criminal treachery and treason demands immediate priority. The Government of the United States must again serve American interests, not the Jewish state's relentless pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and apartheid supremacist empire in, and beyond, the Mideast.


by: Rdabrludba from: India
August 11, 2012 5:59 AM
USA is showing great reasoning & prudence well deserved of the greatest power of the world. This shows US-responsibility of world peace not to jump to war on mere Israel's whims and fancies as was in Bushes' time. Innocent obedient American boys must be flown back home from Afghanistan as soon as possible. That will be good gift of President Obama to his nation. Past mistakes are regrettable. I look forward to the day when USA will be recognized as symbol of peace in the world. All Americans must strengthen the hands of their most able President Obama and re-elect him for peace.

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 13, 2012 11:49 AM
Osama bin Laden enjoyed the benevolence of a previous Dem regime in USA, and today Americans, Europeans and Africans are still paying high prices in blood of loved ones on daily basis. Had the warning been heeded, al qaida would not have been born and the peace in the world would have remained intact. Today the worst threat is Iran. How much worse with a nuclear armed Iran! So check your ranting.

In Response

by: SAL THE TURK from: USA
August 12, 2012 1:00 PM
Again everyone should wake up .
So called USA is not the old 40s & 50s USA , u see sens the
stiling of that land from the Palestinians they call it Israel they don't put there moneys in the Swiss bank no more , they send it to this little country called Israel , for the last 60 years or so the Jews found America wide open so all the moneys from Europe the gold and diamonds from south Africa and south America , from Iran , from Russia they steal and bring it here and after they infiltrated the US government they chased out all others from every deportment of government they got the laws
changed to suet them , they privatized and deregulated the telephone co,s the factories, the banks , and so on so they like always say Money is power they bought it all , at first they invested in America now in china , there not interested in Americas economy any more they are only milking America what they don't get though congress they steal it and remember that little country i mentioned before thats ware it gos to build walls illegal homes and more atom bombs .


by: Leslie from: USA
August 10, 2012 10:31 PM
reading the contemptuous drivel of the Iranian imposters... is just great... keep trying - it just gets funnier...

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