US Rejected Israel Attack Plan

The US told Olmert in May it would not back an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites, according to the British Guardian. Israel denied the report.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu ,

Iran's nuclear sites targeted
Iran's nuclear sites targeted

The United States told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in May it would not back an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites, according to European diplomatic sources quoted by the British Guardian newspaper. Israel considered carrying out the operation this past spring, the report stated.


American President George W. Bush reportedly not only rejected the idea but also added that his view would not change until he leaves office in January. Analysts have speculated that Israel would try to damage or destroy Iran's nuclear reactor during the period Bush is a "lame duck" president, between the presidential elections and January 20.


Prime Minister Olmert raised the idea during the president's visit in May for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, the Guardian reported.


Mark Regev, spokesman for the outgoing Prime Minister, denied that the proposal of an attack was raised. "The need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is raised at every meeting between the prime minister and foreign leaders," he said. "Israel prefers a diplomatic solution to this issue but all options must remain on the table. Your unnamed European source attributed words to the prime minister that were not spoken in any working meeting with foreign guests."
Israel prefers a diplomatic solution to this issue but all options must remain on the table.


President Bush was said to have refused to support the strike because of fears over Iranian retaliation, including attacks on American military facilities in the Middle East, and concern that a full-scale war could break out following an Israeli failure to disable Iran's nuclear capability.


Iran's nuclear facilities are scattered around the country, and have been built dozens of yards underground and beneath reinforced concrete.


Israel would not be able to attack Iran without American approval because the United States controls the Iraqi air space which lies on the shortest route to the site of the Natanz nuclear plant, which Iran is preparing to produce uranium that can be used to it make a nuclear bomb.


If Israel were to fly through the air space, Iran would assume that the U.S. gave approval, giving Tehran an excuse to strike its military sites.


Less than a month after the president's visit, Israel practiced a trial run for an attack on Iran.