US, Israeli intel on Iran growing closer: Barak

US, Israeli intel on Iran growing closer: Barak

JERUSALEM - Agence France-Presse
The United States and Israeli evaluation of Iran’s nuclear program are closer than ever following a secret U.S. intelligence report, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Aug. 9.

“It seems there really is a report by U.S. intelligence agencies. I don’t know if it’s by the National Intelligence Estimate or a different agency circulating between senior chambers,” he told public radio, asked about the report which ran by Israeli daily Haaretz.

“As far as we know, it brings the American assessment much much closer to ours,” Barak said. “I’d say that compared to previous American appraisals, it makes the Iranian issue a bit more urgent.”

US declines comment on Barak’s remark

However, the White House on Aug. 9 declined to respond to Barak’s comment. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One that he would not comment on “intelligence matters or intelligence ... the president may or may not have received.” He said Obama remained committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Israel, the sole if undeclared nuclear power in the Middle East, says Iran’s nuclear program poses an existential threat to it, and has repeatedly refused to rule out military action to halt Tehran’s nuclear activity. A series of visits by high-ranking U.S. defense officials to Israel raised speculation that Washington was trying to dissuade Israel from a preemptive military attack.