Israel and U.S. at odds over timetables and red lines for Iran

The two meetings this week between the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz have been scheduled for some time. But the immediate context cannot be ignored: growing tension over the Iranian nuclear program and what appears to be renewed (and increased) American concerns that Israel might attack Iran's nuclear sites.

Dempsey and Gantz are expected to meet first at mid-week in Brussels during the annual conference of NATO chiefs of staff, an event to which the Israeli chief of staff is always invited. Two days later Dempsey will arrive in Israel.

Obama, Ehud Barak

U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Defense Minister Ehud Barak before delivering remarks at the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism, Dec. 16, 2011.

Although Washington has ratcheted up pressure on Iran of late with a combination of more aggressive statements, an initiative to increase international sanctions and what appears to be an approaching clash over Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, Jerusalem is not satisfied. Israel is not impressed by Iran's deep economic crisis, which is increasing pressure on the regime as it prepares for parliamentary elections in March.

At the heart of the argument between Jerusalem and Washington are questions about timetables and red lines....

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.