Hagel: Israel, US See ‘Exactly Same’ Iran Threat


sen-chuck-hagelDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today that the United States and Israel see “exactly the same” threat from Iran, but differ on when it may reach the point of requiring US or Israeli military action.┬áHagel used his first visit to Israel as Pentagon chief to highlight his view that Israel must decide for itself whether and when to pre-emptively attack its neighbor.

“Israel will make the decision that Israel must make to protect itself, to defend itself,” Hagel told reporters before arriving today to begin a week-long tour of the Middle East.

Hagel acknowledged that while Israel and the US share a commitment to ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, there “may well be some differences” between the two allies on the question of when Iran’s leaders might decide to go for a bomb. He said there is “no daylight at all” between Israel and the US on the central goal of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran. But he added, “When you back down into the specifics of the timing of when and if Iran decides to pursue a nuclear weapon, there may well be some differences.”

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{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}