"Israel is under pressure from all sides. The Americans don't want to be surprised and faced with a fait accompli of an Israeli attack," the senior official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
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"They are telling us to be patient and see if the international sanctions against Tehran will eventually work," he said.
At this time, Israel is coming under increased pressure from Washington and Europe to hold off from attacking Iran over its disputed nuclear drive and allow time for a regime of tight international sanctions to kick in.
Pressure is being exerted from all directions, officials acknowledge, with Washington's concern over a pre-emptive Israeli strike reflected in the steady stream of senior officials arriving in Jerusalem for top-level talks.
Barak 'summoned' to WashingtonThe latest visitor was US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who on Sunday held a two-hour meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and held similar in-depth talks with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Later this week, US Intelligence Chief James Clapper is also due to arrive, press reports said.
Barak has been "summoned" to Washington next week, media reports said, ahead of a visit by the premier himself on March 5 and a planned meeting between Israel's PM and the American president
In an interview with CNN this weekend, top US military commander Martin Dempsey gave a blunt assessment that it would be "premature" to launch military action against Iran.
On Sunday, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said it would not be "wise" for Israel to take military action against Iran, echoing comments earlier this month by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
"The solution is never military, the solution is political, the solution is diplomatic, the solution lies in sanctions," he told French Jewish leaders on February 8.
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