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'Security officials oppose Iran strike'
Top defense officials, majority of nine-minister security forum are reportedly against mounting military strike against Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities at this time

The majority of Israel's defense chiefs are against a military strike in Iran at this time, Ynet has learned.


Although officially, Israel's stance on the matter is that all options are viable, political sources told Ynet on Wednesday that IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz, Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo and several top section chiefs in the Mossad are against a strike at this time.


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Such opposition has been noted within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's special nine-minister security forum.


Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman support an attack on Tehran's nuclear facilities, but Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon, Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz and ministers Dan Meridor, Benny Begin, Eli Yishai and Yuval Steinitz are against it.


"Without Gantz' support the chances of mounting a strike are slim," a political source told Ynet. "Israel has to push the international community to impose further sanctions on the Iranian economy. That's what's important right now."


Israel, he added, must urge crippling financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic: "The sanctions should reduce the Iranian economy to rubble. The United States and Europe still seem hesitant on that, mostly for political reasons and a fear of soaring oil prices.


"We still have to see where the nuclear negotiations are going, but nothing seems to be happening there – and the Iranians are still pursuing enrichment activities," he said.


Sources privy to the government's Iranian debate added that Netanyahu and Barak's rhetoric on the matter increase the chances of a military strike.


"This may not be an act. Their statements are problematic," a senior source said. "The main problem is that Netanyahu simply doesn’t trust Obama in this matter."



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