Shoval: Israel seeking US benchmarks on Iran action

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My colleague Barbara Slavin reports:

Former Israeli Ambassador Zalman Shoval said Tuesday that Israel does not consider itself a Middle Eastern country but “a Mediterranean” one more attuned to Greece, Italy and potentially Turkey again.

Shoval, who is close to Israel’s governing Likud party, suggested before a small group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington that Israelis are resigned to remaining the odd man out in the region especially as Islamic governments come into power in neighboring states.

“The trend is clear and not very hopeful for Israel and the world as a whole,” he said.

He also suggested that the US won’t make a nuclear deal with Iran that Israel doesn’t approve of, saying that such “a deal may break apart…if Israel is not satisfied with it.”

According to Shoval, the level of “coordination [between the US and Israel on Iran] has gone to a much higher degree in the last few weeks,” but Israel still would like President Barack Obama to be more explicit about the “red lines” that Iran must not cross or face military strikes. Continue reading