U.S., Israel at Odds Over Iran Policyhttp://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/08/israel-odds-iran-policy/?test=latestnews
Though military action against Iran remains an option, the threat of force is not the only way to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned up pressure on the U.S. to take a tougher line.
Meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday in New Orleans, Netanyahu said that only a ‘credible’ threat of military action will ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons, a senior Israeli official said.
Although sanctions have hurt Iran, Netanyahu told Biden that Tehran will be determined to produce nuclear weapons unless it thinks a military strike is a real option, Israeli media reported Monday.
"Sanctions are important. They are increasing pressure on Iran. But so far there has not been any change in the behavior of Iran and upgrading of international pressure is necessary," Mark Regev, Netanyahu's spokesman, quoted Netanyahu as telling Biden.
If Israel concludes that Tehran is close to a bomb it could launch its own military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities within months.
Speaking in Australia, Gates rejected the notion that Iran will only listen if it thinks it's about to be attacked.
The latest international sanctions are hitting Iran harder than that country's ruling regime had expected, and should be allowed more time, Gates insisted.
President Obama's administration, while not ruling out a military option against Iran, has so far stressed sanctions and diplomacy as its preferred course for dealing with Iran's nuclear program.
Iran insists its nuclear program is designed to produce energy, not bombs.
Israel, like the West, disputes Iran's claims that its nuclear program is energy driven. In the past, it has said it prefers to block the Iranian threat through diplomacy, though it has not ruled out a military strike.
Israel sees Iran as its fiercest threat because of its nuclear program, its ballistic missiles capable of hitting the Jewish state and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated references to Israel's destruction.