Israel knows better than to strike Iran, says CIA head

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

CIA Director Leon Panetta on Wednesday said that Israel knows better than to launch a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities without a green light from Washington.

Speaking to Global Viewpoint, Panetta acknowledged his recent trip to Jerusalem to talk down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said he is certain the Israeli leader understands that a solo Israeli raid on Iran would mean “big trouble” for his country.

Panetta insisted that Israel cannot militarily take on the Iran nuclear threat alone, though several Israeli military experts have said just the opposite over the past year.

Israeli officials grew increasingly concerned regarding the Iran crisis this week after US President Barack Obama told Netanyahu when the two met at the White House on Monday that he will not place a deadline on diplomatic efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

Most Israelis took that as a signal that the West has resigned itself to living in a world where Iran has nuclear weapons, as Tehran has for years proved itself capable of stringing along negotiations while at the same time advancing its nuclear program.

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