By Ted Barrett and Kate Bolduan
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. senators he has not decided whether to strike nuclear sites in Iran, according to two Democratic senators who attended a meeting with him in the Capitol Tuesday.
“They say they haven’t made a decision and I take them at face value,” Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee said after the meeting.” “But I think they are making very clear their distinction between the U.S. perception of timing and theirs.”
“He said a decision has not been made,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee. “But they have very strong resolve and very strong intent that Iran will not have a nuclear weapon.”
At a press photo opportunity before the meeting, Netanyahu declined to directly respond to a CNN question about one report that Israel had already made a decision to attack Iran.
“I’ve made a decision not to talk about that,” Netanyahu said.
“I think we need to try to stay on the same page here,” Kerry said. “I think the president and prime minister had good discussions and I think no decision has been made. So my hope is that diplomacy still has time to, perhaps, produce a result. I’m not sure what odds I’d put on it. But it’s what you have to do.”
One senator who attended the meeting but who asked not to be identified said Netanyahu expressed real skepticism about sanctions against Iran working to deter Iran’s nuclear program. The senator added that it’s smart for Netanyahu to push the idea that Israel might carry out strikes because it creates a sense of uncertainty in Tehran.