Israel, US should keep quiet about rift on Iran

Updated: 2012-09-12 12:14


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JERUSALEM - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday urged both Israel and the United States to be more careful about publicly airing their differences on Iran, since they are long time allies.

"... There are some differences between the US' and Israeli positions. These differences should be resolved behind closed doors," Barak said.

"The United States is Israel's principal ally and despite the differences, we must also keep in mind the strategic importance of the partnership with the United States, and refrain from hurting it," he said, trying to downplay the recent breach between the two countries.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly rebuffed US's decision of not setting "red lines" for Iran.

"The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?' Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu said during a press conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

The remarks came amid a deepening rift between Israel and the United States over the urgency of attacking Iran's nuclear facilities, with the former seeking to secure a clear public statement from US President Barack Obama concerning the United States' red lines for Tehran that, if crossed, will prompt military action.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clarified that Washington is not currently prepared to publicly commit to laying down "red lines" for Iran.

Later on Tuesday, local media reported that Netanyahu will not meet Obama when he visits the United States later this month for the UN General Assembly in New York.