Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ambassador Oren: Israel, US 'not discussing' military attack on Iran

(Ynet).US-Israeli dialogue on Iran has not reached the point of discussing a military option to thwart its nuclear ambitions, focusing instead on sanctions in 2010, Israel's envoy to Washington said Thursday.

At the close of a year in which US President Barack Obama tried and failed to talk Iran into curbing uranium enrichment, a process with bomb-making potential, Ambassador Michael Oren said he saw no sign of the Americans relenting on that core demand.

"I'm very confident in America's commitment to dissuading Iran from enriching uranium on its soil, which is our common goal," Oren told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"Our positions on Iran completely dovetail and we have very close cooperation and communication."

The diplomatic stalemate has set off speculation that the Israelis, perhaps fearing a shift by Washington to a Cold War-style policy of containing a nuclear-armed Iran, would make good on veiled threats to hit their arch-foe preemptively.

Asked whether Israel is facing any US pressure over the issue of possible military action, Oren said: "It's not a subject that comes up. It's not a subject of discussion. It's not a subject of conversation between us because we're not there yet. We're far away from that.

"Right now the main focus is on the formulation and the application of sanctions. That's where we are."