West puts deadline on Iran talks, Israeli forces train for raid

Friday, May 15, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Western powers have placed an October deadline to determine if diplomatic efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program are succeeding, or it heavy sanctions are needed, according to reports leaked by senior US officials.

The officials told the Wall Street Journal that the deadline was set due to concerns by Israel and America's Arab allies that Iran will drag out negotiations long enough to finish building nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, Israel Radio reported that CIA Director Leon Panetta held secret talks with Israel's leadership two weeks ago in Jerusalem, where he was assured that Israel would not launch a surprise attack on Iran without obtaining a green light from Washington first.

Israel has conducted numerous air force training exercises of late pointing to a raid on Iran's nuclear facilities that have put Western powers on edge.

The latest exercise, reported by Israel's Channel 2 News on Wednesday, involved Israeli pilots manning MIG 29 fighter jets loaned to Israel by an unnamed foreign country conducting mock dog fights with pilots flying Israeli F-16s.

The MIG 29 is the best fighter jet possessed by Iran.

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