Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak, called the recent deployment of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf "impressive" and suggested that the United States is prepared to deal with Iran.
"Israel reserves the right to make sovereign decisions, and the U.S. respects that, but no mistake should be made regarding the impressive scope of the American preparations to deal with the Iranian challenge on all levels," Barak said Thursday at a political gathering, according to Haaretz.
Barak made the comments after he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were briefed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon regarding U.S. preparations for a possible confrontation with Iran.
Last month Donilon presented Netanyahu with the details concerning the strengthening of U.S. forces in the Gulf, according to Israeli media.
Barak said Thursday that while there are differences between the Israeli and U.S. points of view on Iran, "the U.S. is our most important ally. The intelligence cooperation and security backing Israel receives at present is exceptional in its scope."