WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will meet with his U.S. counterpart, Leon Panetta, in Washington amid reports that Iran may have achieved the capability to build a nuclear bomb.
Israel has said that such a capability is a "red line" that could trigger military action.
The defense chiefs are scheduled to meet Thursday.
The Associated Press reported this week that it had obtained a drawing of an explosives containment chamber said to exist on an Iranian military site. The chamber’s only known use would be to test nuclear weapons.
Iran has denied reports that it is seeking a nuclear weapon. Western experts have said the Islamic Republic appears to be moving closer to such a capability.
The Obama administration has endeavored to keep Israel from striking while it pursues sanctions and diplomatic pressure as a means of getting Iran to retreat from its suspected nuclear weapons program.