Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are making efforts to muster a majority in the cabinet to launch a military attack on Iran.
Despite a previous opposition by Israel’s hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to a possible confrontation with Iran, Netanyahu and Barak have reportedly persuaded him to throw his weight behind the move.
However, an eight-member ‘intercabinet’ group, five of whom oppose an attack on Iran, has "little advantage" in face of other cabinet members that support the bid, Haaretz quoted a senior Israeli official as saying on Wednesday.
It seems that Israeli Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz, who has been appointed by Netanyahu, opposes a military strike against Iran at present.
Steinitz is currently supporting the four ministers, including Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor and Minister-without-Portfolio Benny Begin, who remain firmly opposed to any action against Iran.
The four ministers, who still opposed to an anti-Iran attack, believe that Israel should proceed with efforts to courage the West to exert more economic and political pressure on Iran.
They emphasize that any action against Iran should be carried out in full coordination with the United States.
Despite media hype over a possible Israeli attack on Iran, a member of the forum of eight senior ministers has recently claimed that talks are still underway but no decision had been taken yet.
“This issue should be discussed by the cabinet and put to the vote. But this event has not been taking place yet.”
Senior ministers and diplomats claimed that a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), due to be released on November 8, will have a “decisive effect” on the decisions Israel makes.
Meanwhile, there are reports suggesting that Israeli pilots had received training on how to hit far away targets at a NATO base in Italy last week.
The United States and Israel have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike, based on the allegation that Iran’s nuclear work may consist of a covert military agenda.
Iran argues that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found evidence indicating that the country’s civilian nuclear program has diverted towards a military program.