Iran Nuclear NewsIsrael, U.S. keep up pressure on Iran

Israel, U.S. keep up pressure on Iran

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ImageReuters: Israel affirmed during a visit by the U.S. defense secretary Monday that it was still considering military force for thwarting Iran's nuclear plans, and encouraged other countries to keep their options open.

ImageJERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel affirmed during a visit by the U.S. defense secretary Monday that it was still considering military force for thwarting Iran's nuclear plans, and encouraged other countries to keep their options open.

"We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table. This is our policy. We mean it. We recommend to others to take the same position but we cannot dictate it to anyone," Barak told reporters after meeting Robert Gates.

But, Barak said, priority should be given to diplomacy and possibly tougher sanctions against Iran.

U.S. President Barack Obama has made fresh diplomatic engagement with Iran — which denies seeking nuclear arms — a centerpiece of his foreign policy.

Gates affirmed that the United States hoped for an Iranian response by September, saying the timeline "does not significantly increase the risks to anybody."

"I think that the president is certainly anticipating or hoping for some kind of response this fall, perhaps by the time of the U.N. General Assembly," Gates said.

For his part, Barak said the schedule for U.S.-led engagement with Iran should be kept short.

(Reporting by Jim Wolf, Writing by Dan Williams, Editing by Jeffrey Heller)

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