US Defense Secretary Robert Gates (photo)
who is in Israel to bolster a strategic alliance against the Iranian nuclear threat, praised the international community on Wednesday for their diplomatic efforts because they’re “working.”
Gates attended a joint press conference with Defense Minister Amir Peretz and both countries agreed Iran is building nuclear arms. Iran is Israel’s greatest threat as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continuously calls for the destruction of Israel.
Israel hopes to take all diplomatic routes in dealing with Iran, including putting pressure on punishing the Islamic Republic.
“We agreed it was important to deal with the Iranian nuclear problem through diplomacy, which appears to be working,” Gates said.
Gates noted the UN Security Council’s effort to stop the nuclear development as it has imposed two sanctions on Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment projects.
“The international community is united in telling Iran what it needs to do with respect to its nuclear program,” he said. “These things don't work overnight, but it seems to me clearly the preferable course is to keep our focus on the diplomatic initiatives and particularly because of the united front of the international community at this point.”
While UN deadlines are set for May, Ahmadinejad has warned that further sanctions would cause his country to step up its nuclear program.