Just days after US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Israel it seems that the Obama administration's efforts to calm down the Israeli government on the topic of Iran have not made an impression with Jerusalem decision makers.
Senior officials on Sunday leveled severe criticism against the US, declaring that the American position on a date for a military strike against Iran was a "wretched red line."
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"The US' stance is pushing the Iranians to become a country at the brink (of nuclear capability)," explained sources well versed in the nuclear issue. "The Americans are de facto allowing the Iranians to continue to enrich uranium and become a country at the brink. We are not prepared to allow that (to happen)."
As reported in Yedioth Ahronoth last week, the US would only be prepared to carry out a strike against Iran in 18 month, when a "critical threshold" was crossed, and was resolutely against an Israeli strike.
During his recent visit to Israel, Panetta made it clear that the US would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
Now Israeli officials are trying to change Washington's stance on the Iranian issue. "The Americans say that the ayatollahs' decision to construct a bomb is the red line," the officials noted, adding: "It's a wretched red line. Who knows when they'll decide and what they'll decide.
"The centrifuges are spinning and the uranium enrichment level is growing significantly over the past few months. The Iranians are not impressed with the threats and continue on their path in spite of the heavy sanctions."
Nevertheless, the defense establishment and intelligence services in both Israel and the West are starting to notice slight changes in the public discourse in Iran following the economic crisis that formed in light of the heavy sanctions.
"This is a poker game and you need to see who folds first," officials in Israel said, "right now the Iranian leadership is still talking about standing firm."
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