Barak: Despite ‘Red Line’ Debacle, US Still Israel’s Best Ally

September 11, 2012  

Just hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu essentially rebuffed the Obama administration over its refusal to set a “red line” for Iran on its nuclear program, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday night that the U.S. was Israel’s chief ally, and that Israel could rely on Washington.

Barak, who was holding meetings on sensitive security matters, was quoted as saying that “Israel reserves the right to defend itself and will take responsibility as needed for its security and future. The United States respects this. Despite our common goals, the U.S. and Israel do have different positions on a number of matters. We will work out these differences in open talks, but privately,” Barak said.

“We must not forget that the U.S. is Israel’s chief ally. The U.S. and Israel have intimate intelligence relations, and the U.S. is Israel’s main supporter in security matters. These relations are based on many years of friendship and shared values between Israel and the American people. Despite the differences, and Israel’s freedom to act in a manner to defend itself, we must remember the importance of our relationship with the U.S., and that it must not be harmed,” Barak said.

Earlier, speaking at a press conference with visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, P Netanyahu said that “those in the international community who refuse to place red lines before Iran have no moral right to place a red line before Israel. If Iran knows that there are no red lines or deadlines, what will it do? Exactly what it does today – continuing to work to acquire a nuclear weapon without and interference. The world tells Israel to wait because there is time, and I ask, ‘Wait for what?’

The Prime Minister’s remarks were a retort to comments from the White House and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday and Monday that the United States will not set any red lines for Iran.

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