Israeli Minister Asks Nations to Say Iran Talks Have Failed [View all]
JERUSALEM — Amid intensifying Israeli news reports saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is close to ordering a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, his deputy foreign minister called Sunday for an international declaration that the diplomatic effort to halt Tehran’s enrichment of uranium is dead.
Referring to the Iran negotiations led by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, the minister, Danny Ayalon, told Israel Radio that those nations should “declare today that the talks have failed.” After such a declaration, if Iran does not halt its nuclear program, “it will be clear that all options are on the table,” Mr. Ayalon said, not only for Israel, but also for the United States and NATO.
Asked how long the Iranians should be given to cease all nuclear activity, Mr. Ayalon said “weeks, and not more than that.”
The comments came after a frenzy of newspaper articles and television reports over the weekend here suggesting that Mr. Netanyahu had all but made the decision to attack Iran unilaterally this fall. The reports contained little new information, but the tone was significantly sharper than it had been in recent weeks, with many of Israel’s leading columnists predicting a strike despite the opposition of the Obama administration and many military and security professionals within Israel. Articles in Sunday’s newspapers also examined home-front preparedness for what experts expect would be an aggressive response not just from Iran but also its allies, the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas.