Deputy Defense Minister to US: Prioritize Iran Over Talks
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) suggested the United States should prioritize dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue ahead of Israeli-Arab peace talks.
U.S. President Barak Obama's administration has set May 2014 as the end date for finishing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a time frame Danon calls "wishful thinking."
"Let's finish with the threat coming from Iran by May 2014, and then go to the negotiation table...with the Palestinians," Danon said.
So far the peace talks, held under a U.S.-imposed media blackout, have shown no results except the release of two batches of Arab terrorists.
Danon emphasized that Iran's nuclear capability poses a much more urgent priority than the peace talks, and reiterated that Israel would carry out unilateral military action on Iran if international diplomatic efforts should fail.
World leaders have shown a generally looser stance towards Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani, with the next round of talks to be held between Iran and six world powers in Geneva on November 7-8.
However, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke to Obama on Monday and warned him that Iran could convert uranium to weapons-grade material in a matter of weeks.
Israel demands four conditions be met before sanctions on Iran are weakened: a halt to all uranium enrichment; the removal of all uranium from Iranian territory; the closer of the underground nuclear facility near Qom; and a halt to the construction of a plutonium reactor.