Visiting the US today for two days of meetings, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz is pushing for the Obama Administration to move beyond simply imposing round after round of new sanctions on Iran and get toward “credible threats” to invade Iran at a specific date.
“They need something in addition to the sanctions and in addition to the statements,” Steinitz insisted, adding that Israel is growing “impatient” and doesn’t believe negotiations are a path forward.
Steinitz stopped short of making any specific statements on what the date of the Israeli-demanded “ultimatum” for war should be, but Prime Minister Netanyahu has previously suggested dates in the next few months would suit Israeli interests in such a war.
Though Steinitz downplayed the timing of his visit, and insisted it had nothing to do with the nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, other members of his Likud Party have expressed “serious concern” about the nominee. The real timing, however, may be more related to Israel’s election later this month, with pushes for war being a centerpiece of Likud’s election campaign.