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Israeli Big: Time to Act

9:02 AM, Jun 21, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Israeli vice prime minister Shaul Mofaz, of the centrist party Kadima, told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., that talks with the Iranians have failed and that the U.S. should escalate its activity to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Mofaz and Clinton

Courtesy: Ron Sachs/CNP

"After the failure at the third round of talks with the Iranians in Moscow, it is time for the United States and the Western powers to impose more severe sanctions in the oil embargo and financial sectors in order to stop Iran's nuclear development program," said Mofaz in a written statement released after the meeting.

The Israeli vice prime minister also asked Clinton "to continue to prepare all of the other options." Those options must include a credible military plan to decimate Iran's nuclear program.

Later, at the Washington Institute, Mofaz expanded on his view of dealing with Iran. "The use of military power should be the last option, and I believe that this option should be led by the US and the Western countries," he said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

It is not clear how Clinton responded to Mofaz's statements.

Additionally, Mofaz, who recently teamed up with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to create a broad coalition, also talked about the Palestinian issue with Clinton. "[T]he broad coalition in Israel has created a unique window of opportunity to restart talks with the Palestinians," Mofaz told the secretary of state.

"We have a window of opportunity for historic changes, both in Israel and with our neighbors," Mofaz expanded, in a talk at the Washington Institute, according to Haaretz. We have about 1.5 years before the general elections in Israel. For the first time in Israel's history, we have such a large coalition, and a unified one. It's time to break the ice and resume negotiations with the Palestinians without preconditions."       

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