Envoy says Israel ‘far from’ strike on Iran

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s ambassador to the United States said his country is "far from even contemplating" a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

In an interview aired Sunday on CNN, Michael Oren told host Fareed Zakaria that Israel supports President Obama’s efforts at outreach to Iran.

Asked about reports that Israel was planning to curb the Islamic Republic’s ability to obtain nuclear weapons by attacking its nuclear facilities, Oren said,  "I don’t think it’s true. I think that we are far from even contemplating such things right now."

After Zakaria accused Oren of not being forthcoming about an imminent attack, and pointing out that Israel has been "deeply uncomfortable and nervous" about engagement with Iran, the ambassador replied that "We were, but we were greatly comforted during the prime minister’s visit here in May, when the president told him, assured him, that there would be a serious reassessment of the policy before the end of the year. We are further reassured now that the end-of-the-year deadline has been moved up to September." 

Oren added that the U.S. "willingness to consider formulating a package of serious sanctions against Iran even now in advance of the reassessment" also was reassuring.

NEXT STORY