President Barack Obama, Congress and the American people would support Israel if it carried out a pre-emptive attack on Iran, Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, told Yisrael HaYom Sunday.
He told the Hebrew-language newspaper that he does not feel there is any pressure on Israel from the U.S. government not to act against Iran, which last week loudly proclaimed it wants to eliminate the State of Israel.
Even Catherine Ashton, foreign policy adviser of the European Union, departed from her usual anti-Israel view and condemned the threats of Israel from Iran’s leaders, the most obvious being president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“The Americans have listened to the Iranian leaders who want to destroy Israel,” Oren said in an interview with the newspaper during a short stay in Israel. “It is clear that the Americans are asking themselves, ‘What would we do if were in their place?’”
Oren is convinced that “if Israel decides to act against Iran, we will win wide support among the American people” and that the Obama administration “will continue to recognize our right to defend ourselves.”
He added that an Israeli attack would not ruin American-Israeli relations.
He also asserted that the upcoming American elections have no bearing on an Israeli decision to attack Iran. In light of Iranian threats, any strike would likely be viewed as an act of self-defense, similar to Israel’s pre-emptive strike in 1967 when surrounding Arab nations were set to attack the country from all fronts.
“The only question at hand is: The responsibility for the security of Israel rests on the Prime Minister, a responsibility that cannot be handed over to another sovereign country, even if it is the most friendly of nations, like the United States is for Israel,” Oren stated.
Virtually every opinion on an Israeli strike on Iran has been expressed in the media the past month, most of the headlines being engineered by leaders or by the media itself pushing their own for and against positions.
Oren’s statements in the interview Sunday reflect the view of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has consistently said that Israel’s own security will the first and last considerations concerning how to deal with the growing nuclear threat from Iran.