Daily Israel Report

Obama Leaves Israel as 'Lone Ranger’ in Nuclear Iran

Israel and the U.S. are parting ways on how to deal with the issue of the Iranian nuclear threat, according to the Middle East Times.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 4/1/2009, 10:16 AM

Israel News Photo: (file)

Israel and the United States are heading towards a parting of the ways on how to deal with the threat of Iranian nuclear capability, according to an article published Tuesday in the Middle East Times.

Unlike his predecessor, U.S. President Barack Obama is unlikely to approve, let alone cooperate, with the targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists carried out by Israel's international Mossad intelligence agency, wrote journalist Richard Sale.

Similarly, Israel will likely now be forced to go it alone on its long-standing system of sabotage operations to stymie Iran's effort to purchase nuclear technology in the international arena.

The article also raised the possibility that the Obama administration might try to put the brakes on Israeli covert operations against the Iranian nuclear program.

Obama has said from the outset that he intends to reach out to the Iranians and work to re-establish ties with the Islamic Republic that have been frozen for close to 30 years.

Sales contends that the U.S. hopes to use Iran as a launching point for supply convoys to American and NATO troops that are fighting in Afghanistan.

The Iranians also allegedly provided the U.S. with excellent intelligence information that helped America in its war against the Taliban when it attacked the Afghanistan-based group right after the "9/11" terror attack on the U.S. in 2001. Iran is an enemy of the Taliban.

However, the chances that Israel would actually stop its efforts to prevent what is rapidly becoming an existential threat to the Jewish State are almost nil, according to Washington think tank director Pat Clawson.

"It would be implausible to call off all covert ops," said Clawson, who heads the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "If the U.S. pressures Israel, then the Israelis will simply stop talking to us about it."

Joint operations that were carried out together with U.S. intelligence agents against Iran's nuclear development activities under the Bush administration had "failed miserably," according to a former senior CIA official quoted in the article.

In fact, an American plan carried out in 2000 under the administration of former President Bill Clinton, husband of the current U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was an equal debacle. Flawed plans for a nuclear bomb were covertly delivered to an Iranian official in Vienna by an American agent under a plan code-named "Operation Merlin." The Iranian scientists quickly spotted the flaws in the plans, however.