Mixed reports on Iranian policy
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Mixed reports on Iranian policy

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday and without question Iran was a central theme of those talks. How much in agreement the two countries are in regards to Iranian policy, however, is debatable.

The story in the Jerusalem Post paints a picture of agreement and compromise, that emphasizes a time limit to America’s push for diplomacy with Iran and agreement all around that no options are off the table. The AP story on the other hand, seemingly paints a picture that the Israelis are moving more quickly to the military option while America is trying to slow them down.

Take a look at the two stories.

First, Jerusalem Post’s Gates: U.S., Israel see eye to eye on Iranian nuke threat”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday in Jerusalem, and the two discussed a comprehensive range of bilateral, diplomatic, defense and strategic issues, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The AP story, “Israeli official: No option off table on Iran”null

Tensions between Israel and the United States over Iran bubbled up in high-level talks Monday in which Defense Minister Ehud Barak bluntly told U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that “no option” should be ruled out.

Although these stories are covering the exact same thing, the tones are very different – granted, further down in the JPost story the writers acknowledge more of Israel’s tougher stance and Gates’ attempt to allay Israeli fears about negotiations. The AP story does appear to be meatier with more on the so-called defensive umbrella and Iran’s demand that Israel give up its alleged nuclear arsenal.

In reality, the U.S. and Israel are likely much closer on Iran than the reports let on. Imposing deadlines for an Iranian response to negotiations will be an important test for Obama, who is largely viewed in the Jewish community as soft on Israel’s enemies and tough on Israel. Obama has said American patience is not unlimited but he must move quickly before the Israelis feel they are backed into a corner.

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