Barak: Israel, US Have Different Clocks on Iran—But Same Goal

Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Ryan Brown

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday acknowledged Israel and the United States view the timing of the Iranian nuclear threat differently, although he emphasized the Americans’ “readiness” in dealing with the matter. Barak also implicitly challenged concerns from the top US military official regarding Israel’s acting alone against Iran.

“We face a common challenge but the clock is ticking at a different pace for each of us,” Barak was quoted by a press release as saying. “We also have our differences; Israel keeps its sovereign right to act independently, and the US understands this.

“However, there is no doubt about the US readiness to face the challenge on every level. Only Israel will take decisions regarding its future and security.”

Barak’s comments came a week after US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey was quoted by The New York Times as saying of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, “I don’t want to be accused of trying to influence, nor do I want to be complicit if they choose to do it.”

This was later followed by a report from Yedioth Ahronoth, carried by their Ynet English website saying the US has informed Iran through European nations that in exchange for not attacking US forces and facilities in the Middle East, America won’t back an Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear program that could lead to a regional war.

Barak appeared to challenge the possibility that the US would not support Israel in such a scenario. Despite their differences, Barak noted the US is “our most important ally. The intelligence cooperation and the military support are deep and exceptional in scope. I am sure that it will stay this way in any scenario that might happen in the future.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, September 7, 2012)