Dan's Feed
May 7, 2012

Israel set for early vote as it ponders Iran challenge

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s parliament convened on Monday to dissolve itself and set a September 4 election that opinion polls predict will renew Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership mandate as Israel confronts Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The looming ballot has deepened doubts about the right-wing prime minister’s threats to attack Iran and raised the question of whether his window of opportunity is now too narrow.

May 4, 2012

Iran could seek short build time for bomb: Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Iran’s nuclear strategy could eventually allow it to build an atomic bomb with just 60 days’ notice, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Friday.

His remarks elaborate on long-held Israeli concerns that Iran is playing for time even as it engages world powers in negotiations aimed at curbing its uranium enrichment drive. Talks are due to resume in Baghdad on May 23.

May 2, 2012

Israel’s Barak: election would not alter Iran plans

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The prospect of an imminent election in Israel will not affect its strategy for tackling Iran’s nuclear program, including plans for a possible preemptive war, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday.

Rifts in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative coalition over military conscription and budget cuts have prompted parties to mobilize to bring forward the ballot to as early as September, a year ahead of schedule.

Apr 30, 2012

Analysis: Could domestic flak shoot down Netanyahu over Iran?

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – He may be ready to brave Iranian air defenses, retaliatory missiles and Western diplomatic blowback in tackling Tehran’s nuclear program, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will find it hard to fly past flak from his own senior staff.

Remarks by recently retired security chiefs and the current military commander questioning the views of Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Iran have opened a rare rift in a Jewish state that usually puts up a united front against regional enemies.

Apr 28, 2012

Israel ex-spy warns against “messianic” war on Iran

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A former Israeli spymaster has branded the country’s leaders unfit to tackle the Iranian nuclear program and “messianic” in the strongest criticism from a security veteran of threats to launch a pre-emptive war.

Other veterans have come out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

Apr 28, 2012

Israel ex-spy warns against “messianic” Iran war

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A former Israeli spymaster has branded the country’s leaders unfit to tackle the Iranian nuclear program because of what he called the “messianic feelings” behind their threats to launch a pre-emptive war on Iran.

Other veterans have come out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently, but the criticism from former domestic intelligence chief Yuval Diskin was especially strong.

Apr 27, 2012

Barak restates Israeli hard line on nuclear Iran

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Defense Minister Ehud Barak restated Israel’s fears of a nuclear-armed Iran on Thursday after his top general clashed with the government’s line by describing the Islamic republic as “very rational” and unlikely to build a bomb.

Addressing foreign diplomats on Israel’s independence day, Barak said Iranian leaders were not “rational in the Western sense of the word – connoting the quest for status quo and the peaceful resolution of problems”.

Apr 9, 2012

West to target Iran’s nuclear fuel work

JERUSALEM/DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States and its allies are pressing for an end to Iran’s high-level uranium enrichment and the closure of a facility built deep under a mountain as talks on Tehran’s nuclear standoff with the West resume this week In Istanbul.

A return to the table, as the Western allies tighten sanctions over what they say is Tehran’s programme to develop nuclear weapons, had been in doubt after Iran and the P5+1 countries – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – released conflicting statements about the venue.

Apr 8, 2012

Talks in Istanbul to target Iran’s purer atom fuel

JERUSALEM/DUBAI (Reuters) – Talks this week on Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West will resume in Istanbul, Iranian media said, while the U.S. and its allies look set to demand an end to high-level uranium enrichment and the closure of a facility built deep under a mountain.

Friday’s return to negotiations after a year of tightening sanctions over what the West believes is a program to develop nuclear weapons had been in doubt after Iran and the P5+1 countries – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – released conflicting statements about the venue.

Apr 8, 2012

Israel bars German writer Grass from visiting over poem

JERUSALEM/BERLIN (Reuters) – Israel declared Nobel Prize-winning German author Guenter Grass “persona non grata” on Sunday over a poem in which the former SS soldier described the Jewish state as a threat to world peace.

Grass would be barred from visiting for his “attempt to inflame hatred against the State of Israel and people of Israel, and thus to advance the idea to which he was publicly affiliated in his past donning of the SS uniform,” Interior Minister Eli Yishai said in a statement.