Newspaper: Bush Told Israel Not to Bomb Iran
Posted on Sep 26, 2008
The Guardian is reporting that outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought and was denied President Bush’s blessing for an airstrike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Bush was reportedly concerned that Iran would retaliate against U.S. targets in the region and that the benefits of such an attack would be insufficient.
Israel gave serious thought this spring to launching a military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites but was told by President George W Bush that he would not support it and did not expect to revise that view for the rest of his presidency, senior European diplomatic sources have told the Guardian.
The then prime minister, Ehud Olmert, used the occasion of Bush’s trip to Israel for the 60th anniversary of the state’s founding to raise the issue in a one-on-one meeting on May 14, the sources said. “He took it [the refusal of a US green light] as where they were at the moment, and that the US position was unlikely to change as long as Bush was in office”, they added.
The sources work for a European head of government who met the Israeli leader some time after the Bush visit. Their talks were so sensitive that no note-takers attended, but the European leader subsequently divulged to his officials the highly sensitive contents of what Olmert had told him of Bush’s position.
White House / Eric Draper