Israel won't warn US of any Iran strike

2012-02-28 22:32

Washington - Israeli officials say they will not warn the US if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations with US officials, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and in Congress.

Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the US would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel's potential attack, said one US intelligence official familiar with the discussions.

The US has been working with the Israelis for months to convince them that an attack would be only a temporary setback to Iran's nuclear programme.

Israeli defence officials confirmed that there are no plans to alert the US ahead of time about any operation against Iran, though they stressed no decisions have been made on whether to attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a confidential security matter.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak delivered the message to a series of high-level US  visitors to the country.

These included the chairperson of the joint chiefs of staff, the White House national security adviser, the director of national intelligence and top US lawmakers, all trying to close the trust gap between Israel and the US over how to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Netanyahu delivered the same message to all the Americans who have travelled to Israel for talks, the US official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive strategic negotiations.

The White House declined to comment, as did the Pentagon and office of director of national intelligence.

Iran claims its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, but the international atomic energy agency (IAEA) has raised alarms that its uranium enrichment programme might be a precursor to building nuclear weapons. 

Secret warning

The US has said it does not know whether the government has decided to weaponise its nuclear material and put it on a missile or other delivery device.

The secret warning is likely to worry US officials and begin the high-level meetings with Israel and the US far apart on how to handle Iran.

The behind-the-scenes warning belies the publicly united front the two sides have attempted to craft with the shuttle diplomacy to each other's capitals.<-p>

US intelligence and special operations officials have tried to keep a dialogue going with Israel despite the high-level impasse.

This includes offering options such as allowing Israel to use US bases in the region to launch such a strike, as a way to make sure the Israelis give the Americans a heads-up, according to the US official and a former US official with knowledge of the communications.

Co-operation has improved on sharing of intelligence in the region, according to one current and one former US official.

Israel is providing key information on Syria, for instance, now that the US has closed its embassy and pulled out its diplomats and intelligence officials stationed there, the US official said.


- AP
Read more on:    ehud barak  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  us  |  iran  |  middle east peace  |  iran nuclear programme
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
64 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Motoring
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may be hard to stay cool, calm and collected. Your emotions can get quite heated in the moment. You may benefit from finding a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.