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. Israel minister rules out Iran strike without US okay
JERUSALEM, May 16 (AFP) May 16, 2009
Israel would not strike Iranian nuclear facilities without advance approval from the United States, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said on Saturday.

"I cannot imagine any attack against Iran being carried out without advance coordination with the United States," the Y-Net news website quoted him as telling a public meeting in the southern desert town of Beersheba.

"We need the Americans as much from a logistic point of view as for our own defence on the international level after any such strike," he said.

Public radio reported that leaders of the new Israeli government had given undertakings to that effect to Central Intelligence Agency chief Leon Panetta during a secret visit two weeks ago.

Hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a strong line on Iran's nuclear programme during the campaign for February's parliamentary election and has described the Islamic republic as an "existential threat" to the Jewish state.

Iran rejects Western suspicions that its nuclear programme is cover for a weapons drive, insisting it wants only to produce energy for a rapidly growing population once fossil fuels run out.

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