With the largest joint US-Israel military exercise in the background, Israeli President Shimon Peres expressed hope that a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis could be found, while noting “all options” ought to be kept on the table.
In comments during a visit with top US military official Gen. Martin Dempsey, Peres was quoted by his office as saying, “The sanctions are beginning to show some results.
“I think all of us agree that we should start with the non-military options while keeping all options on the table. If we can conclude it in a diplomatic way, then it’s much better.”
The sanctions on Iran have increased dramatically this year, including a European oil embargo and additional European sanctions passed recently on other Iranian industries. In addition, the US and Europe have targeted the Iranian financial sector.
Israel and the US have often been at the forefront of the Iranian nuclear threat discussion. So far the sides have reportedly tried a combination of diplomatic pressures, sabotage and cyberwarfare to slow down Iran’s nuclear program, which has been suspected of working on the groundwork for nuclear weapons.
The US and Israel also work together on missile defense and other military matters, including the massive drill being undertaken together this year.
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey, in his comments with Peres on Monday, spoke highly of the military cooperation between the two nations. He was quoted by Peres’ office as saying, “This exercise we’re conducting is the largest one ever. It’s a real opportunity for our soldiers to work with Israeli soldiers, our airmen to work with Israeli pilots and our sailors to work with Israeli sailors. This exercise covers all of those domains to ensure that we have a layered cooperative, collaborative, common defense against the threats of missiles and rockets.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 31, 2012)