Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak once again took a more moderate tone over the possibility of a military strike against Iran, insisting any strike would come only after “all other options have been exhausted.”
Barak told Israeli soldiers in a speech at a military base that, “The political echelons see it as their responsibility to ensure that if wars can be postponed we will do so, we will make sure that if we go to war it is after all other options have been exhausted.”
This new tone is markedly different from what the Israeli rhetorical postures have been for the last few years. Israeli leaders last week appeared to give in to the US position, saying tough US postures may be eliminated the need to perform a unilateral strike.
Recent comments from the top US military official Gen. Martin Dempsey that America would not be “complicit” in an Israeli strike, as well as reports that Obama made the same comments in a secret letter to Iran, seemed to force the Israelis to tone down their war rhetoric.
Still, Israeli officials have tried to push the US to be a little harsher on Iran. Israeli officials responded to comments on Monday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the US would not try to impose deadlines for an Iranian deal, saying “Words like these won’t stop the centrifuges, but the opposite.”
Actually, the opposite appears to be true. Iran’s centrifuges are running, so to speak, because they are operating under a constant threat of military action from Israel and a United States that has Iran militarily surrounded.