NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The United States and Israel are engaged in high stakes diplomacy over what to do about the nuclear threat from Iran.
That was the tense backdrop Friday with talks scheduled next week between President Barack Obama, and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
Netanyahu arrived in Canada on Friday on the first leg of a diplomatic trip with the greatest of all missions — Israel’s survival should Iran develop a nuclear bomb.
His message was simple: don’t trust Iran if it offers to renew talks.
“It could exploit the talks as they’ve done in the past to deceive and to delay so that they can continue to advance their nuclear program and get to the nuclear finish line by running the clock,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu, who has threatened to attack Iran if need be, will make that point again when he meets with President Obama at the White House on Monday.
“I think the demands on Iran should be clear: dismantle the underground nuclear facility, stop enrichment inside Iran and get all the enriched material out of Iran,” Netanyahu said.
The problem is Israel and the White House are far apart on when a military option should be exercised. Israel says very soon, within months, while the White House says there’s still time.
“It is not strategically in the United States’ interest to draw an explicit red line as to what hypothetical action by Iran would result in a specific reaction by the United States,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
Jewish leaders say the president needs to send a tougher and clearer message to Iran that it means business.
“I think there may be the perception of mixed messages and the danger is that the Iranian intelligence is not that good and they will act upon both the public statements and what their assessment is of the will and determination of the West, led by the United States,” said Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents.
Experts point out that Israel isn’t the only county in danger if Iran gets the bomb. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and most of the nations in the region could also be endangered and, thus, might try to match Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
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