Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday met with US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to urge the latter to keep all options for dealing with Iran's nuclear program, including the military option, on the table.
Barak said that Israel is in favor of first trying more stringent economic sanctions to convince Iran to halt its nuclear program, but stressed that the West's position must be backed up by the threat of military force.
Barak's visit follows last week's trip to the Pentagon by Israeli army chief General Gabi Ashkenazi, who raised similar points to that of the defense minister when he met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.
Israel has expressed a degree of concern over recent statements by both Gates and Mullen suggesting that the US is no longer considering a military option against Iran, and would not support an Israeli strike on the Islamic Republic.
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