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U.S. and Israel at Odds Over When to Strike Iran

As Iran gets closer to developing a nuclear weapon, so too do the U.S. and Israel get to a decision about when to strike the rogue country. However, it seems there's tension regarding when, exactly, to execute any attack, as Israel would rather act sooner than later, while the U.S. is reluctant to move beyond sanction at this point.

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The U.S. and Israel are publicly disagreeing over timing for a potential attack on Iran’s disputed nuclear facilities, as that nation’s leader said it won’t back down.

The U.S. and Israel have a “significant analytic difference” over estimates of how close Iran is to shielding its nuclear program from attack, Aaron David Miller, a former Mideast peace negotiator in the Clinton administration, said today.

“There’s a growing concern -- more than a concern -- that the Israelis, in order to protect themselves, might launch a strike without approval, warning or even foreknowledge,” he said in an interview.

The differing views were underscored by public comments this week by senior Israeli and U.S. defense officials.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said yesterday that Israel must consider conducting “an operation” before Iran reaches an “immunity zone,” referring to Iran’s goal of protecting its uranium enrichment and other nuclear operations by moving them to deep underground facilities such as one at Fordo, near the holy city of Qom.

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It's hard to imagine we won't face conflict with Iran this year; relations certainly seem to be reaching a boiling point. Iran has made it clear it has no intention of ending its nuclear program, and that it intends to wipe Israel off the map. Now, it looks like we've moved beyond if, and are deciding when to act. Time will tell.

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