Israel PM 'Blew Up' at US Ambassador Over Iran

Netanyahu furious at US lack of clarity, congressman says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2012 6:19 AM CDT
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin is urging the international community to get tougher against Iran, saying that without a "clear red line" Tehran will not halt its nuclear program.   (AP Photo/Baz Ratner, Pool)

(Newser) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clashed angrily with the American ambassador to Israel over US policy on Iran, according to a lawmaker who was present at the late August meeting. "It was very, very clear that the Israelis had lost their patience with the administration" over its failure to clarify what state the Iranian nuclear program would need to reach to trigger a US attack, says Mike Rogers, the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Rogers describes the meeting as "very tense," with "elevated" exchanges between Netanyahu and US Ambassador Dan Shapiro, the Washington Post reports.

"Right now the Israelis don't believe that this administration is serious when they say all options are on the table, and more importantly neither do the Iranians," Rogers says. "That's why [Iran's] program is progressing." Shapiro, however, describes that depiction of the meeting as "silly" and says the talk was "friendly and professional," reports Reuters. Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak, meanwhile, hinted yesterday that he believes the US would join an attack on Iran, reports the Jerusalem Post. America's "intelligence-sharing and military support for Israel is extraordinary in its depth and its comprehensiveness, and I’m convinced that it will continue to be that way in every future test," he said after a meeting with US military officials. (Read more Iran nuclear weapons program stories.)

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