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US to ask Israel to let sanctions affect Iran

Last Updated: Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 10:00

Washington: US President Barack Obama has plans to ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu next week not to attack Iran`s nuclear facilities in the coming months and let sanctions take full effect, reports said on Saturday.

Obama would meet Netanyahu on Monday and try to persuade Netanyahu to wait for the effectiveness of sanctions and realise dangers of an Israeli attack, Xinhua reported.

"We`re trying to make the decision to attack as hard as possible for Israel," Washington Post quoted a US administrative official as saying on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Israeli leaders had made clear they think time was running out to stop Iran from achieving the ability to build a nuclear weapon.

But US officials fear that a pre-emptive Israeli attack can set off a regional war.
According to some officials, Israel would not give the US warning if it decided to attack Iran, allowing the administration to deny prior knowledge but also limiting its ability to defend US military assets in the region.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll in January showed that very few respondents, including Republicans, favoured a US military operation against Iran over allowing time for diplomatic efforts such as the oil and banking sanctions to take effect.


First Published: Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 10:00
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