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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Comments page of 2
by: Steve from: Usa
August 10, 2012 6:30 PM
Israel, if you all want to get into a war, knock your socks off. Leave the USA out of it.
In Response

by: Divest from War from:
August 12, 2012 5:22 PM
Except that they would be doing it with our tax dollars, and (justifiably) the Iranians will not let us arm and fund Israel, then say that we didnt' have anything to do with Israel's bombing of Iran.

We need to prevent this craziness, not just because it is wrong, but because it is bad for America.

One way to help prevent an Israeli attack on Iran is to (nonviolently) increase the cost to Israel of such foolishness, by all of us pledging to BOYCOTT ISRAEL IF IT ATTACKS IRAN:
In Response

by: patrik from: USA
August 12, 2012 2:05 PM

Steve, now and in the past Israel never asked USA to fight on its side. All previous wars imposed by many neighboring enemies the Jewish state fought and won alone!

PS. My previous comments were not published –Is the Voice of America censures comments, publishing only Pro-Iranian?

by: Malek Towghi from: USA
August 10, 2012 4:49 PM
Any serious difference of opinion on this issue between the USA and Israel will be unfortunate for the whole civilized world. On the other hand, Iran will be committing suicide by achieving -- or having ability to achieve -- nuclear weapons along with continuing its anti-Israel & and anti-West nonsensense. Yet, I admire President Obama for continuing diplomatic efforts, hoping that Iran will eventually act rationally as almost all Iranians and Iran's well-wishers want.
In Response

by: Mark from: London
August 11, 2012 2:16 AM
Iran is a law abiding nation unlike Israel. It has a population 10 times greater than Israel and It has every right to develop nuclear technology. A "rational act" for Iran would be to acquire as many nuclear weapons as possible, and thereby GUARANTEE that there will be no Israel/US attack. Iran has instead chosen the path not to weaponise the technology, as confirmed by the IAEA who have conducted the most intense program of inspections in their history.

This is why you have presumably fallen for the absurd position that even "having the ability to achieve nuclear weapons" is justification for an unprovoked attack - this is a dangerous fallacy for any intelligent person to accept. Sanctions and acts of murder committed by the West are not 'diplomacy'. Israel simply wants to attack yet another regional neighbour - and directly threatens the world with another huge conflagration.

Israel has gotten used to doing well out of global conflict.

by: alan mac. from: USA
August 10, 2012 4:25 PM
There is a distinct difference between the current governments of Israel and Iran. Iran is run by religious zealots who are Muslim and Israel is run by religious zealots who are Jewish.
That is it..... So, If they wish to kill each other than go at it but do not attempt to by hook or deceptions drag the USA and Europe into your fight.

by: Carl from: Davis, CA
August 10, 2012 4:05 PM
It should come as no surprise to anybody, that Likud party government officials consistently overstate any potential threat to Israeli hegemony, for the dual purposes of: giving war proponents an argument (no matter how factless), and to force our government to constantly correct their misrepresentations. But it's just another form of psy-ops that the Israelis practice on our government on a daily basis.

by: Franko from: NY
August 10, 2012 3:37 PM
Yeah, it's not like the good 'ol 70's where you could just do whatever you felt like....

I've got a great idea, how about you fight your own war. Send the Orthodox over to Iran.

by: Clarence from: Acworth
August 10, 2012 3:34 PM
Am I the only 1 tired of listening to Israel whine? You can't lie about the possession of nuclear weapons (since the 60's) and expect anyone to take you seriously. Why are we involved with these people? I think it's past time we shook hands and went our separate ways.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 13, 2012 12:04 PM
You sounded so stupid and absurd whining like a brat. Could you just shut up if you're just waking up and do not understand what's at stake. It's about a madman with a loaded gun threatening another. Does a sane man possessing a gun for 60yrs justify a madman possessing same even for a minute?
In Response

by: tony from: rock hill
August 11, 2012 3:29 PM
Yes and the only stupid one.

by: Chris Hubbard from: USA
August 10, 2012 3:23 PM
the Iranian nuclear bomb presents far greater threat to Arabs than to Israel, and especially to Saudi Arabia Kuwait Qatar and Bahrain, yet the irony is that Israel is the only country willing to do something about the Iranian threats... yet the Arabs continue to condemn Israel... the question than becomes - do we really want such "allies" ??? remember - the Islamic Afghans just murdered three American heroes they invited to "iftar" there is no bottom to this Islamic treachery
In Response

by: Akiel from: Tough Neighbourhood
August 11, 2012 8:14 PM
which Nuclear bomb!!?? where is this nuclear bomb? is it in Saddam's palace the US went searching for WMD's? how can you so belatedly make a statement that has no proof to it? thats like me calling you a SOB. and believe me the NIE and the IAEA have not inspected your background, so that means i have more of a right to say so then you!
In Response

by: Abraham
August 11, 2012 3:55 PM
Treachery? U must be kidding me right. Get out occupier and then you can live in peace?
In Response

by: Dat from: Chicago
August 11, 2012 2:23 AM
1 Skipping propag "nuclear bomb presents far greater threat to Arabs" i read Israel have one spare. Can one reading think: the fflag will be on Arab not US soil? 2 What do VOA want to say by such pix ?
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