Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The US has reassured Israel that military option against Iran remains on the table, saying the focus is on economic and political pressure.
The United States made the announcement in a bid to reassure Israel that it would not abandon its support for Tel Aviv after visiting Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak demanded that the US keep all options against Iran on the table.
Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Washington prefers to apply economic and political pressures against Iran, but a military strike against the country is still possible.
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“I think the Israelis are keenly aware that we believe the best possible avenue of dissuading the Iranians from pursuing nuclear weapons is through economic and political pressures,” said Morrell.
The United States and Israel accuse the Islamic Republic of being a threat to global security for pursuing nuclear weapons, ignoring the International Atomic Energy Agency’s verification of non-diversion of declared nuclear materials in Iran.
Iran says its nuclear activities are peaceful and solely aimed at producing electricity.
Morrell said at the meeting, “We certainly understand that the Israelis view a nuclear Iran as an existential threat — they have made that abundantly clear to us, to the world. And we are working diligently to prevent that from happening.”
Israel is the sole nuclear armed power in the Middle East and is in possession of at least 200 nuclear warheads.
“A military option is always available to us. It’s not our first choice,” Morrell noted.
Winning Pentagon’s agreement to improve Israel’s missile and satellite reconnaissance capabilities was another outcome of the visit for Tel Aviv.
This article was posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 4:26 am