Israel defense chief: Iran our main threat
Amid continuing concern that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is inclined to order military action against Iran's nuclear program, a key Defense Ministry chief says, "Iran is out central threat," UPI reported.
The comments by Amos Gilad, director of policy and political-security affairs at the ministry, followed a report by the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Ahoronot that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were pushing for pre-emptive strikes against Iran.
But many in the defense establishment oppose any overt military action against Iran because they accept that it could unleash a regional war on an unprecedented scale using weapons that have never before been used in Middle Eastern combat.
Saudi Arabia and the Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf would be endangered and Iran would threaten much of the world's oil supplies.
The United States also opposes a unilateral Israeli campaign against Iran's nuclear facilities, fearing it could get dragged into a conflict not of its choosing, and has repeatedly told the Israelis so.
That was a message forcefully reiterated by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta when he visited Israel in early October and held talks with Barak.
Gilad, who has great influence within the Israeli military establishment, stressed that countering the Iranian threat must be Israel's top defense priority.