Israel officials told to pipe down on Iran

JERUSALEM, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned top members of his government and former officials that loose talk about Iran is dangerous.

Netanyahu issued a directive Thursday that no public statements about Iran's nuclear program should be made without permission, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. The directive is in force at least until Netanyahu's upcoming meeting with President Obama, scheduled for March 5 in Washington.


"We must stop this chatter. It causes damage," Netanyahu said. "We should not be providing too much information on this issue."

In recent weeks, top Israeli leaders and former officials have been quoted with a wide range of views on Iran. Some have warned Iran is close to achieving nuclear weapons and others have warned an Israeli airstrike on Iran's nuclear facilities would be disastrous.

Obama's and Netanyahu's staffs are trying to draft a joint statement to be issued after the meeting, Ynetnews reported. Netanyahu reportedly seeks a U.S. promise to step up sanctions against Iran, while Obama wants an Israeli pledge to delay military action.

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