This Opinion first appeared on CNN.com on May 21, 2012

Iran is set for nuclear talks Wednesday with members of the U.N. Security Council, and the Obama administration, as well as some Iranian and European Union officials, expressed optimism that a compromise will be reached. But it is useful to examine Israel’s long-term objectives for a bit of a reality check.

During a recent trip to Israel, where I met government officials, one issue became clear: for many in the Israeli government, Iran has already crossed the red line. Unless Iran halts all enrichment and dismantles its nuclear program, the diplomatic process is irrelevant to many Israeli officials.
The Israelis are not willing to wait for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to make the political decision to move toward developing a nuclear weapon; by then, it is too late. This is a major point of difference between Israel and the United States and the European Union — one which the nuclear talks will not resolve.

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