by Ray Fleming

There appear to be serious differences in the Israeli government about the correct course to take about Iran's nuclear programme. Prime minister Netanyahu has made it clear that he believes Iran is bent on producing nuclear weapons and should be attacked soon before it is able to take that step. In a Holocaust Remembrance speech last week he said: “Iran openly calls and determinedly works for our destruction. And it is feverishly working to develop atomic weapons to achieve that goal.” But in an Independence Day article this week in the Haaretz newspaper the head of Israel's Defence Force, Benny Ganz, has said that he does not think Iran's leadership would risk building a nuclear weapon, adding “The Iran leadership is composed of very rational people”.

In Looking Around in Sunday's Bulletin I quoted Israel's Deputy Prime Minister as saying in a TV interview, “I don't think Israel should use the military opition...An attack on Iran wouldn't add anything to our security.” These fundamental differences in Israeli policies directly concern the United States, European and Arab countries. President Obama has been under open pressure from Mr Netanyahu to accept the necessity for early military action against Iran, but has resisted it.

Internal politics may be a factor in these differences but this is an international issue of great importance and Mr Netanyahu should urgently clarify Israel's position.

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