Iran`s N-programme `serious concern` to US, Israel

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 00:24

Washington: The US on Monday said Iran`s nuclear
weapons programme was a matter of "serious concern" and it was
in regular consultation with Israel on the issue amid reports
that the Jewish state might consider unilateral strike against
Iranian atomic facilities.

"Iran’s nuclear weapons remains a serious concern to the
United States and to Israel," George Little, the Pentagon
Press Secretary, told reporters ahead of the release of a key
report on Iranian atomic weapons programme by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"The (Defense) Secretary believes that we have a strong
military relationship with Israel. He has a strong personal
relationship with his Israeli counterparts," he said during an
off camera news conference.

The concern of the US administration comes amid reports
coming from the region that Israel might consider unilateral
strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

But the Pentagon official refuses to directly respond
to such questions.

"As you know the US policy on Iran remains focused on
leveraging the diplomatic and economic instruments of the
national power to bring pressure against the Iranians. The
Secretary is mindful of Israel`s concerns over the Iranian
nuclear programme," he said.

"That is a subject of regular dialogue between the US and
Israel. I am not going to speculate what Israel may or may not
do with respect to Iran, but as a general rule with respect to
major issues in alliance with Israel consultations are
important," Little said.

There has been regular dialogue between the US and
Israel on Iran.

The Israeli Defense Minister has been at the Pentagon,
while the US Defense Secretary has travelled to Israel.

"This issue has come up in those discussions as well as
with others in the department of defense," he said.

Pentagon spokesperson, Navy Capt John Kirby said that the
US favors a dual track approach, which is engagement and
economic pressure.

"That’s where the focus of the US Government and this
department remains," he said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 00:24

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