Israel is talking with Washington about laying down “clear red lines” for Iran over its nuclear programme, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with Canada’s CBC.
Over the past week, the Israeli leader has repeatedly driven home the need to draw a “clear red line” for Iran and make clear the consequences of crossing it, in what was widely interpreted as a criticism of Washington.
Last week, Netanyahu insisted that red lines were necessary in order to avoid war. “The greater the resolve and the clearer the red line, the less likely we’ll have conflict,” he said on September 3.
In recent weeks, tensions with Washington have risen sharply over reports Israel was planning to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities without White House approval.
Speaking at a Jewish New Year toast for diplomats, Israeli President Shimon Peres expressed gratitude for US moves to boost its navy forces in the Persian Gulf — two US aircraft carriers are already in the area with a third on its way.
Israel, the Middle East’s sole, if undeclared, nuclear power, says a nuclear Iran would constitute an existential threat for the Jewish state and has refused to rule out a military strike to prevent it from gaining such a capability.
Washington and much of the West also believe Iran is seeking a weapons capability under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge which Tehran denies.