Israel has two billion pound fund for possible attack on Iran

Israel is keeping a budget worth almost two billion pounds to fund a pre-emptive attack against Iran's nuclear facilities.

According to a report in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, the budget information was revealed during a Knesset committee hearing which outlined plans to ensure sufficient money would be available to attack Iran in 2014.

Top IDF Generals of the army's planning directorate were cross-examined by MKs during the Knesset session about the need to set aside 10 billion shekels or £1.74 billion of the country's budget as negotiations progressed between Iran and world powers.

Last week Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya'alon launched yet another verbal assault at the US, accusing the Obama administration of showing "weakness" around the world and having been outwitted by the Iranians. He also described the nuclear talks in Geneva as a "Persian bazaar" during which the Iranians had outsmarted their US counterparts.

Mr Ya'alon went on to say that Israel could not rely on the Americans when faced by a nuclear-armed Iran but only rely on itself. "We (Israelis) have to look out for ourselves," he said.

The US responded by saying the defence minister was deliberately "undermining" security cooperation and the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Mr Yaalon has since said that he wished to "clarify" his remarks.

The negotiations between Iran and world powers ended on Wednesday with EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton claiming "substantive" progress on a range of issues relating to Tehran's nuclear programme. All sides have agreed to meet again on April 7.

Last updated: 7:03pm, March 20 2014