Limited patience – Sharon
Giving diplomacy a chance – Bush
Israel has proposed to the United States to strike Iran on several occasions this year, Saudi newspaper al-Watan reported Sunday morning.
According to the report, the latest proposal was raised during the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee’s visit to Washington several days ago, where Committee members apparently attempted to “market one agenda: Launching a war on Iran.”
The newspaper quoted Knesset Member Arieh Eldad saying that “nothing will restrain Iran aside from the use of force” and adding that Teheran’s nuclear project will not end “unless it is convinced it will be destroyed through military force.”
Meanwhile, Knesset Member Yosef Lapid reportedly said threats of sanctions and isolation have no effect on Iran.
“We won’t accept the fact we need to live under the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb and therefore we feel we should warn our friends we don’t see any solution except for acting on our own,” Lapid said according to the Saudi report.
The newspaper says this was not the first time Israel demanded to strike Iran. President Bush rejected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s offer to use military force during the latter’s latest visit to Washington, the report said.
Sharon reportedly presented Bush with satellite photos of Iran’s nuclear facilities and asked to attack them. The president apparently “coldly” referred him to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who told the PM the U.S. chose to pursue the diplomatic channel, in conjunction with European states, to resolve the problem.
Earlier reports said Sharon informed Washington in a special letter that Iranian nuclear arms would threaten the safety of Israelis more than any other nation. The PM reportedly said Israel would consider postponing military action against Teheran out of consideration for the U.S., but added Israel would not “wait forever.”
According to al-Watan, Israel made it clear that it would only be able to wait until a certain date next year and would strike at Iran if no progress is made by that time.