U.S. Warns Israel: Iran Strike May Affect Peace
U.S. officials recently warned Israel that Egypt and Jordan could annul their peace treaties with the Jewish State if it carries out a preemptive strike against Iran, AFP reported on Thursday based on a report in the Yediot Achronot daily newspaper.
Quoting a high-level Israeli official, the newspaper said Washington had warned the Jewish state that Arab leaders would not be able to control an angry public backlash if Israel were to mount an attack on Iran.
The newspaper said the U.S. official pointed to the violent response in several Middle Eastern countries to a film insulting Islam, saying, “Today the Arab leaders do not control their peoples, the streets control the leaders.
“An Israeli strike is just what the Iranians need. The entire Arab and Muslim street will take to the streets to demonstrate," the official said.
“What happened with the film against Mohammed is just a preview of what will happen in case of an Israeli strike,” he said.
The official said that Egypt and Jordan, the only Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel, would face enormous pressure to annul the accords if Iran's nuclear facilities were attacked.
Meanwhile on Thursday, the United States sternly warned Iran that “time is running out” for its unsupervised nuclear program in what may be thinly-veiled support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has badgered President Barack Obama to set a “red line” for Iran.
"We will not engage in an endless process of negotiations that fail to produce any results. We must therefore remain clear and united in seeking resolution of the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear program. Time is wasting," Ambassador Rice said told a United Nations Security Council meeting on nuclear sanctions against Iran.
She added, "Iran's approach remains to deny, to deceive and distract.”
Rice’s statement follows a month-long campaign by Prime Minister Netanyahu to keep the Iranian nuclear threat in the headlines, resulting in an indirect confrontation between him and President Obama over “red lines” and deadlines, which the president has refused to set.
Earlier this week Rice joined the list of American officials who have rejected Netanyahu’s request that the U.S. set a clear “red line” for Iran’s nuclear program.
“We’ve been very clear. The United States is not interested and is not pursuing a policy of containment. President Obama has been very plain: We will keep all options on the table, including the military option as necessary, to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Rice told CNN.
“We share a grave concern about Iran pursuing a nuclear weapon,” she added. “We are determined to prevent that from happening. President Obama has been absolutely clear, and on this there's absolutely no daylight between the United States and Israel that we will do what it takes to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
Rice added, “We are not at that stage yet. They do not have a nuclear weapon. Our shared intelligence assessment is that there’s still considerable time and space before they will have a nuclear weapon should they make the decision to go for that.”
She said that steps the United States and other countries are taking to pressure Iran are working.
Rice’s harsh words on Thursday also come exactly a week before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to deliver what has become an annual address to the opening post-summer session of the UN General Assembly.