Posts tagged deal
The White House artfully pushed back Thursday on a report in an Israeli newspaper that claimed the U.S. offered Israel high-tech weaponry like bunker-busting bombs and refueling planes in exchange for a pledge to hold off on attacking Iran until 2013.
Press Secretary Jay Carney, asked about the article at the daily briefing, said “there was no such agreement proposed or reached” in meetings President Obama held — without appearing to comment on what other officials might have discussed.
“We have … high-level cooperation between the Israeli military and the U.S. military, at other levels with other agencies in their government and our government, but that was not a subject of discussion in the president’s meetings,” Carney said.
Defense officials, though, told Fox News that no “sweeteners” were offered to the Israelis during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit this past week.
One senior Pentagon official said “no promises were made, no deals were struck, but weapons were discussed — as you would expect in a meeting with the defense secretary.”
The report in the Israeli paper Maariv came as Iran’s nuclear program and the possibility of a strike by Israel dominate the discussion in Washington and Jerusalem. Obama earlier in the week used a press conference to urge the international community to allow more time for sanctions to work — he repeatedly has cautioned against the “loose talk of war” in Washington.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in an interview Thursday, though, that the Pentagon “absolutely” is preparing possible military options for a strike on Iran, in a rare public acknowledgment shortly after Obama met with Netanyahu.
He also noted that a U.S. strike would be more effective than an Israeli one.
Lawmakers are making a last-ditch effort to put together $3 trillion to $4 trillion in deficit reductions to clear the way to raise the debt limit, a congressional Republican leadership aide told Reuters.
The aide also said leaders want to be able to “show progress” toward a deal by 4 p.m. EDT on Sunday, which would be before Asian financial markets open.
The aide said negotiators are looking at a “two step process” for the deal, but the aide would not provide details other than to say that no revenues would be part of the package.