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      General: Obama Stopped Strike on Iran

      Former Security Council head says Netanyahu planned to hit Iran – but Obama asked him not to.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 9/3/2013, 8:23 PM

      Iranian workers standing in front of the Bushehr nuclear power plant,
      Iranian workers standing in front of the Bushehr nuclear power plant,
      AFP photo

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu planned airstrikes targeting Iran’s nuclear program, but called them off following a request from United States President Barack Obama, General (res.) Giora Eiland has reportedly revealed.

      The Mida website quoted statements reportedly made by Eiland, the former head of the National Security Council, in a closed conference on defense.

      According to Eiland, “The Prime Minister thought that we had reached the point where a decision had to be made on Iran, and he planned an attack.”

      “In principle, Israel does not need American authorization for military action, unless the Americans demand unequivocally that we refrain from an action,” he continued.

      That is what happened in this case, he said. Netanyahu presented his plan to American leaders, and was told that it was not acceptable to them. This led him to shelve the plan.

      According to the report, Eiland threw his support behind Netanyahu’s original plan. Israel still must decide how to deal with Iran, he said, “now with less time, when the decision is between bad and worse.”

      Mida reported that Eiland confirmed his statements in an interview with the site. In the interview, Eiland clarified what he said regarding American vetoes on Israeli missions.

      “Israel can act for itself regarding many, many issues. [When it comes to] building in Jerusalem, or strikes in Gaza, or other issues pertaining to our region, we don’t need to ask the Americans, even if they don’t like it,” he explained.

      “However, if the matter pertains to American interests, we cannot go against their opinions,” he stated.

      Israel “has the real ability to destroy Iran’s nuclear program,” Eiland noted.