Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
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'Iran information disturbing, not daunting'

Cabinet holds meeting on Iranian threat; members appear to disagree on exact time when Tehran's nuclear program may reach immunity zone

The Security Cabinet held a special meeting on the Iranian threat Tuesday night. "The information presented to the Cabinet was very disturbing, but it wasn’t too daunting," a senior official who participated in the meeting told Ynet.


No operational decisions were made during the meeting.


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Cabinet members, however, seem to disagree on when exactly it could be determined that Iran's nuclear program has reached the zone of immunity – although it is clear that the Iranians are not only vigorously pursuing nuclear endeavors, but are also making sure to "clear up their tracks."


According to the official who spoke with Ynet, while the information Israel has on Iran's progress is troubling "It's not scary. The Iranians are relentlessly pursuing nuclear activities and they're not slowing down.


"האיראנים ממשיכים לפעול בנחישות" (צילום: אלכס קולומויסקי)

'The Iranians are relentlessly pursuing nuclear activities' (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)


"They are holding their own vis-à-vis the international pressure, but on the other hand, they're not running wild."


Israel, the source added, is in the midst of a "poker game" with the West, as it does not wish to see western nations procrastinate on the issue.


Israeli intelligence have presented a list of sanctions that have yet to be applied by the West, both because the United States desires to curb oil prices, and the objections mounted by China.


Israeli intelligence indicated that the sanctions imposed on Iran are crippling the Islamic Republic's economy, but have yet to bring the regime to its knees.


Israel believes that further sanctions should be employed to bring Iran to yield.


In August, an official Israeli source was quoted by the foreign media as saying that the eight-minister security forum – the body Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu consults with on security issues, but one devoid of any official authority – has not held "an actual debate" on the issue since October.


The past several days have seen Netanyahu tone-down the rhetoric on Iran, focusing on the international community's need to set a clear red line on the Iranian issue in order to avoid a military campaign.


Sources in the Prime Minister's Office stressed that, "There is no change in Israel's position, just a clarification of the prime minister's position."


Other than Netanyahu, the Security Cabinet comprises of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Minister of Intelligence Services Dan Meridor, Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, and ministers Eli Yishai, Ariel Atias, Uzi Landau, Gideon Saar and Silvan Shalom.



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פרסום ראשון: 09.04.12, 21:08
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