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Israel's ultimatum to Obama on Iran n-plans

world Updated: Mar 04, 2012 22:12 IST

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to deliver an ultimatum to the US over Iran's nuclear plans, a media report said Sunday.

At Monday's meeting between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama, the Israeli prime minister will deliver a stark warning, The Telegraph reported.

Netanyahu effectively brings with him an ultimatum, demanding that unless the president makes a firm pledge to use US military force to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb, Israel may well take matters into its own hands within months, it said.

The threat is not an idle one. According to sources close to the Israeli security establishment, military planners have concluded that never before has the timing for a unilateral military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities been so auspicious.

It is an assessment based on the unforeseen consequences of the Arab Spring, particularly in Syria, which has had the result of significantly weakening Iran's clout in the region, according to the daily.

Israel has always known that there would be an enormous cost in launching an attack on Iran, with the Islamist state able to retaliate through its proxy militant groups Hamas and Hizbollah, based in Gaza and Lebanon respectively, and its ally Syria.

Each is capable of launching massive rocket strikes at Israel's cities, a price that some senior intelligence and military officials said was too much to bear.

But with Syria preoccupied by a near civil war and Hamas in recent weeks choosing to leave Iran's orbit and realign itself with Egypt, Iran's options suddenly look considerably more limited, boosting the case for war, the newspaper added.