AP claims a source familiar with high-level American-Israeli discussions says Israeli officials have made it clear they will not alert the U.S. before any attack by their country on Iran.
If true, it’s an indication that relations between the U.S. and Israel have not eased, although the stated reason for not notifying Washington before an attack would be to distance the U.S. from the action. As AP reports: “Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the US would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel’s potential attack.”
But Iran would almost certainly see the U.S. as the major military sponsor of its attacker, whether Washington is tipped off or not.
Both Israel and the United States are concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, but the two countries have pushed different approaches, with Israel’s conservative government campaigning for military action and the Obama administration favoring sanctions and diplomacy.
Although he labeled Iran part of the “axis of evil,” even George W. Bush understood the danger of a military strike on that country. According to reports late in his presidency, Bush told then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he would not support a plan to attack Iran.
Lending credence to AP’s report, Haaretz recounts a TV interview with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who says a decision on whether to attack Iran is Israel’s business, not that of the U.S. or Russia. —PZS
AP and Reuters via Haaretz:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview on Wednesday that Israel will not bow to U.S. and Russian pressure in deciding whether to attack Iran.
Speaking on Channel 2 news, Avigdor Lieberman rebuffed suggestions that American and Russian warnings against striking Iran would affect Israeli decision making, saying the decision “is not their business.”
White House / Pete Souza
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu share a word.