US urges Israel to coordinate action on Iran

Large joint defense drill delayed

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Posted on: 
16 Jan 2012
US urges Israel to coordinate action on Iran

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that US officials are worried that Israel might attack Iran’s renegade nuclear program in 2012 without coordinating their plans with Washington. The report added that the US has quietly beefed up security at embassies in the region to guard against possible reprisal attacks from Iranian terrorist proxies as well as other potential threats. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is scheduled to arrive in Israel this week for consultations on regional developments, and is expected to reiterate American concerns and urgent requests for the Israelis to keep the US in the loop and not take action on its own. Meanwhile, an Israeli defense official announced on Sunday that “Austere Challenge 12” the planned upcoming missile defense exercise in Israel which was to bring over 5,000 US troops to the Jewish State along with equipment and weapons, has been postponed.

"Israel and the United States have agreed to postpone the maneuver planned for spring," the official said on condition of anonymity. "The exercises will take place between now and the end of 2012."

Israeli Army radio, citing a defense official, added that the postponement was to avoid "unnecessary headlines in such a tense period."

Reports in the Israeli press indicate the news came as a surprise to the IDF which just last month issued a statement that "the exercise scenario involves notional, simulated events as well as some field training and is not in response to any real-world event."

Relations between Washington and Jerusalem have been tense in recent days as an argument over the best response to Iran has continued both in private and in public. Although the Obama Administration has led an effort to impose tougher economic and diplomatic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, some Israeli officials think the response should be even stronger.

"France and Britain understand that the sanctions must be strengthened, in particular against the Iranian Central Bank," Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon recently said. "The U.S. Senate is also in favor, but the U.S. government is hesitating, fearing higher oil prices in an election year. It's disappointing."

“It is regrettable that the international community has not yet used all the means at its disposal to stop the Iranian nuclear program," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon agreed during an interview with Israel Public Radio on Sunday.


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