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



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