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.

  • Shawn - 2012-02-28 23:37

    Right…Israel is yet to face a worthy adversary; they seem to prefer attacking people who can’t afford to buy themselves a pair of shoes. Jewish history makes for bloody reading, every so often they have an opponent handing them their asses in a high hat. They’ll be put in their place once the States no longer need them for geopolitical reasons. The last thing they want is to annoy the States – Where would Israel be if not for the overly generous foreign aid handed to them every year? Israel = Donation State.

      johan.kroucamp - 2012-02-28 23:43

      I think you are ignorant

      Shawn - 2012-02-28 23:51

      Perhaps you’ll do me the small service and highlight my ‘ignorance’? Anxiously awaiting your reply!

      Fred - 2012-02-29 01:10

      Not only are you ignorant, but you're heartless

      alansmartSnr - 2012-02-29 01:43

      @ Shawn..Leë vat hou toe jou kraan, Dan sien ons jou vir volle aan. Seems you know zip..nothing about Israel, their defences, their relation with America or the so-called aid. They need nothing from any one, they bought their weaponry from the States..and improved on them..made them twice as effective. They have American diplomatic support. They developed their own nuclear systems and as sure as hell they would knock the hell out of Syria in a 3 day war without any help. BTW..have you ever been there or even better, have you been in any of their Kaboetzes. I dont want to be insulting but your ignorance shows in your comment.

      Shawn - 2012-02-29 01:57

      Would they have achieved what they have without constant/unconditional military and financial support from the States & Europe? Obviously not! My point is they are not a self-made state, they have debts to pay, a role to play in the geopolitical misadventures of the United States. Why is it that they receive more foreign aid than all African countries combined? Why is it that AIPAC and the ADL silence their critics? I’m no expert on this particular donation state but I do refuse to fall prey to their political/historical double standards. I’m all out of sympathy…

      Fred - 2012-02-29 03:21

      Shawn/Fidel/Michael, grow up and get a life. You're being boring, stupid and monotonous.

      Shawn - 2012-02-29 03:59

      @Fred - As you wish ol’ boy…In future, please spare me the paternalistic treatment; I don’t particularly enjoy being dictated to. Thank you!

      Dirk - 2012-02-29 05:22

      And rightfully so. Israel cannot gamble with its own security. There are too many Americans who would sell them down the drain.There is only one solution in dealing with a barbaric terrorist state and its barbaric supporters, and that is to destroy the threat.May the God of Abraham, Isaac And Jacob bless the land of Israel and all its people.

      Dirk - 2012-02-29 05:27

      I notice that the robed and sandled brigade, Ali Baba and his 40 thieves have visited this site to lend their support to the Iranian terrorist state, the consequences of misguided stupidity.

      Jaba - 2012-02-29 08:26

      The alternative would be for Israel to do nothing and risk being eliminated by the Mullahs, as they continually promise to do? I think Jews have already had a bad experience and have no desire for a repeat. If someone threatens to kill you "believe him"! The world has done nothing in the last 10 years to stop the threat.

      John - 2012-02-29 11:10

      Shawnie, bud....Iran has been threatening for 30 years, in their own words, to "wipe Israel off the face of this earth". I don't blame Israel for taking these threats seriously. In most situations " attacking is the best form of defence". If Israel does nothing while Iran continues to build it's nuclear weapons - against all nuclear treaties wishes, then something has to be done before it's too late !!!! Thank goodness we have a country that has the balls of Israel.

      Fred - 2012-03-01 17:00


      Fred - 2012-03-02 06:55

      Another mindless epithet Patrick/Barry

  • braamc - 2012-02-29 02:21

    There will be no eating, no laughing and no smoking in the chambers

  • Godfrey - 2012-02-29 04:34

    This is just posturing. The Israelis announced recently that some top secret drone of theirs crashed in the desert. Why did they make that announcement? To let everyone know that they have advanced capabilities to deliver destruction. Just posturing.

  • Dmitri - 2012-02-29 06:12

    It is a good thing that Israel will not tell the USA, not to spare them as the article says, but because the USA has a Muslim-in-chief. (Still boggles the mind how he became POTUS). There are Arab states that actually want Israel to hit Iran because of the Shia and Sunni factions that have been fighting each other for 100s of years. Why would Saudia Arabia, Qatar, or any other Muslim state hit Iran when Israel can do it. Will the USA come to Israel's aid if they attack Iran? I doubt it (not with the current POTUS). It goes wider than this as you have N.Korea and Russia who also have a vested interest in what goes on. If Israel hits Iran, it will not be a regional conflict, but will escalate as that will draw in S.Korea as well. You have the Msulim states that will turn on Russia. You also have the Chinese that will move West to "safeguard" their borders. In it's current state, Egypt is uable to do much, but they could be used as a springboard by various factions. Do not forget Yemen as well. The one question that remains an uncertainty is which countries in the EU will be involved? No matter how you look at this or who's side you choose, it will have a global impact, not only economically and politically, but for travel as well. As things stand, the easiest way is to take down commercial airliners. This possibility will result in airspace closures, flights cancelled, people stranded, refugees all over the place, civil unrest in cities across the globe, etc.

      Deen - 2012-02-29 08:06

      Wait... Obama is muslim? Oh the delusion...

      Jaba - 2012-02-29 08:48

      I agree with only some of your points. But Obama is not a Muslim; he might be a Saudi puppet through the Petro Dollars - but not a Muslim. The Saudis want to stop Iran from acquiring the bomb; it may be that the US is egging Israel on to join forces in attacking Iran. The EU will take Israel's side by the way - for the simple reason that they don’t want any more foreigners from the Middle East & North Africa coming over to the Union, they do not want to be seen as a safe heaven to the ‘Arabs’, they will want to look like an enemy even though they dislike Israel (in an anti-Semitic way). Russia will be pro Iran - but that will change quickly as Putin loses his job and is put in jail – this will happen when the tap of cheap oil from Iran closes. China will stay neutral - they hate the 'religious' Iranian regime but love the cheap oil. Chine will get their cheap oil from Saudi. North Korea will not dare move (under China’s vigilant eye). Syria is almost gone. Hezbollah is losing its support base in Lebanon and aid from Iran as the sanctions take hold. Hamas has turned its back on Syria, Iran and thus also on Hezbollah in a very surprising move. The world is changing… I might even add that Israel might not have to attack at all as the green revolution has scared the Ayatollahs so much that they now (this week) want to rid themselves of AchMADjad.

      Fred - 2012-03-01 06:45

      Obama is a Reborn-Christian.

  • Larry - 2012-02-29 06:44

    Israel understands its situation most acutely and this is largely misunderstood by most of Israel's detractors. Many people cannot see why the Islamic world would want to destroy Israel, and they fool themselves by considering that Iran will consider a peace treaty with Israel let alone recognition. The main factor behind hatred for Israel is the Islamic world's 'humiliation' which grates the core of Islamic culture. The more that Islamic countries are humiliated by Israel (by virtue of their continued and successful existence), the more they are driven to redeem themselves with the victory they seek. Israel makes the Islamic religion and god look weak and false. I fear that just as a Muslim father will murder his own daughter to regain 'family honor', Iran will bring to itself a war that will also decimate its own population in order to assuage honor for all of Islam. Should Israel survive this event, then the Islamic world will not

  • shakeelo - 2012-02-29 08:37

    None of you guys get the point. WHY is the USA and Israel allowed to keep nuclear weapons and not Iran. Why cant Iran develop nuclear weapons for defence purposes? Israel will not attack Iran because it will never be able to withstand the retatliation from Iran, Pakistan, Syria and believe you me if Israel attacks (with or without the USA) ALL the US interests worldwide will be under attack. Iraq was forgivable because Saddam was a dictator. Israel attacks at their own peril.

      Charl - 2012-02-29 08:48

      Because Iran is the only country in the region that threatened to "wipe Israel off the face of the earth" once it has nuclear weapons. And Israel's military forces, especially their air force, is world renowned, Iran won't be able to defeat them. And the US will probably step in before that happens anyway.

      Larry - 2012-02-29 08:53

      Are you dof? The USA and Israel are democracies and their governments are thereby responsible to their citizens, whereas rogue dictatorships such as Iran, Syria are run by mad mullahs and mafia-like families. Therefore 'advanced and civilised' democratic countries may have nuclear weapons, while the middle age societies and religious mad governments may not because they are terrorist states and more likely to make use of nuclear weapons. Get the point?

      Tom - 2012-02-29 09:14

      @ Charl......Iran NEVER said that THEY would wipe Israel off the map with Nuclear and the rest of the sheep have been duped by a an incorrect translation of what their President actually said......''mistranslated''to suit an Agenda......

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-29 09:32

      No more nukes would be a good reason (it requires just 23 -27 stratgeic strikes to wipe out all life) especially since they can make them far bigger than those used in Horoshima/Nagasaki. The process of non-proliferation has been ongoing and successful , its ultimate objective of no nukes is possible as long as another 'cold war' scenario develops which it is in Iran . Iran is in violation of the NPT and has not declared its centrifuges and refuses access to IAEA officials . It has also rejected Russian offers of supplying nuclear fuel for energy plants and has been fingered underground weapons design and scientific information exchange by AQ Khan (Pakistani Scientist). Its fundamentally a bad idea for Iran to develop the weapons on the school yard , 'they got some so i want some ' arguement.Its analogous to everyone having a right to own a gun but it still requires a licence which has strict conditions to excerise that right .

      Charl - 2012-02-29 13:37

      @Tom, I know that is not exactly what was said. "wipe Israel off the face off the earth, remove from the map, removed from the pages of history" etc. are all different interpretations by the West. Fact is, Iran has made previous threats against Israel, and it is utterly irresponsible for a head of state to utter something like this that might be misinterpreted, especially given the political situations Israel and Iran are in. It is volatile and one wrong word could start a war, if not WW3.

  • Jaba - 2012-02-29 09:09

    America can protest against decisions Israel makes but it can't afford to lose Israel as an ally. Too much common ground; Israeli high-tech and military logistics, geographical advantage for America. The number of US Jobs that is made possible through Israeli research & development is mind-boggling. From Warren Buffet, to Microsoft, from Intel to Apple – Israel’s importance far exceeds the importance of oil – especially in the long term (25 years) But more importantly it’s the common human connection that keeps the two friends together, freedom & democracy. Israel has much support in the US, and its in the form of both Republican & Democratic (with the exception of Obama) It is close to impossible to break U.S. and Israel ties. America is not doing Israel favours without getting anything in return. And that return is maintaining the US’s superiority where it matters – in Technology, Military advancements and Bio-Genetics. Lastly, the US will know something's happening in real time, even without notification, that a strike has been initiated. The US has its own X-Band radar installation in the Negev staffed by US personnel, watching everything both in Israeli airspace and far beyond. So if dozens of aircraft take off from Israeli airbases heading east, the US will know.

      Fred - 2012-02-29 14:01

      The main motivator behind the US's interest in Israel is the attempted genocide that killed six million Jewish people.

      Jaba - 2012-02-29 16:25

      That’s true Fred - that’s the past though - today Americans are looking at jobs and the future. But that is correct, WW2 taught the west a lesson or two - every nation should have the right to self-rule & self-defence. Christians have around 100 nations, there are exactly 50 Muslim states and only one Jewish state (the actual size of the Kruger National Park) seems like this is still to big for the racist Arab nations who call for Israel's destruction decade after decade.

      Fred - 2012-02-29 18:59

      Yes, except there isn't space for countries defined by religion in the world becoming new, where people are so mobile. Some would say there isn't space for religion at all, the way it is presently defined.

      Fred - 2012-02-29 19:07

      I don't mean true spirituality

  • Tom - 2012-02-29 09:30

    MOSHE DAYAN.....celebrated Israeli General confirmed that they PROVOKED war with Syria....and were wrong to seize the Golan Heights. ''I know how at least 80 percent of the clashes there started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let's talk about 80 percent. It went this way: We would send a tractor to plough someplace where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was.'' Also, later, he stated his regrets: ''I made a mistake in allowing the Israel conquest of the Golan Heights. As defense minister I should have stopped it because the Syrians were not threatening us at the time [fourth day of the war]''

  • cheryl.kristiansen - 2012-02-29 12:11

    Thing is; if you are a peacefull country i.e. not trying to bully others and not interfering with them, then it doesn't matter what weapons they have. Personally, i don't care if Iran has nuclear weapons. it will not affect me because S.A is friends with everyone (a pleasant and welcome change for this 40something white girl who well remembers the 70's & 80's). Perhaps if the US stopped being the worlds policeman they also wouldn't care who had what weapons. To quote "Mars Attack" - the movie, "Why can't we all just get along?"

      Bradley - 2012-02-29 12:32

      Cheryl i see you have good intentions and the world needs more peeps like but to put it bluntly i think you should care if Iran have nuclear weapons...with great power comes great responsibility and Iran from what i have seen and heard is not responsible!! secondly i think it will affect SA including the rest of the world should a war break out between Iran and Israel..the middle east will be in turm-oil(haha check the pun) which means WW3 which means....well you get it.

      cheryl.kristiansen - 2012-02-29 12:56

      @Bradley. Good pun! Yes i do get it and i know its not a realistic outlook but i can dream can't i :). The U.S make me just as nervous as Iran and Israel do (and a whole bunch of other countries too). I'm not sure i believe any of them to be "good".

      Dirk - 2012-02-29 13:33

      Cheryl- There are two levels of friendship. In the 70s and 80s, SA was "hated" everywhere but we could travel to almost every first world country unrestricted. Behind the scenes, many actually admitted that they admired us. Now, publicly, everyone loves us but the only countries we can travel to unrestricted, are the Third world countries. Now you require a visa and behind the scenes we are told that SA is collapsing, and rightfully so.Every second Nigerian(and SA)drug dealer is using a fraudulent SA passport.

  • Fred - 2012-02-29 14:04

    It's really good to see so many people outspoken about this. We cannot allow people like Michael/Fidel/Larson/Matthew/Patrick/Jameel to spread their noxious, antisocial, sociopathic ideas. It's too critical a time in our history and evolution.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-29 15:18

    Its interesting to see the comments given are either pro or anti Israel, with little if any reliance on concrete facts. This is not about Iran or Israel anymore, its about the very real possibility of a nuclear reprisal from Russia or China, the fight is bigger than the players, and it would do well for both sides to tread carefully. I personally believe the country that initiates the first attack must by default be targeted for nuclear annihilation.

      Fred - 2012-02-29 16:26

      Neither the Russian nor the Chinese regimes will do anything. They're totally self-centered and dumb to international relations.

  • phathuchicos - 2012-02-29 17:46

    its either the Israelis are living in ku ku land...they forgot that they are bitches to the american butches, unless if they wanna start serving the arabs.

      Larry - 2012-02-29 18:51

      Something only you would understand.

      Fred - 2012-02-29 19:00

      A wrong thought

      Fred - 2012-02-29 19:00

      Azanian, that's a very immature, awful, faulty view of the world.

  • nowicki1 - 2012-02-29 20:28

    Zionists believe Jews are Gods chosen people.. You call Iran mad? I call Israel and Iran both mad. Watch them wipe each other off the face of this planet through their combined fundamentalist arrogant stupidity. Ill take peace and popcorn thanks.

      Fred - 2012-03-01 00:23

      I agree this is a delusional core to the Jewish religion. Unfortunately it's true of just about all religions. The difference is the Jewish people don't go around killing people in the name of their God. The Muslim extremists do, all over the world. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and elsewhere. Truer Muslims are not saying and doing enough about thus, which means they're enabling it or, worse, agreeing.

      Fred - 2012-03-01 00:26

      There is a reflection between the extreme Mullahs and ultra-orthodox Jewish religious leaders. But the former are acting their dark violence out on the world; the latter mostly think and talk about it. Not desirable for sure, but there's a real difference.

      Fred - 2012-03-01 00:29

      You're smooshing things together again when you equate Iran with Israel. They're different in significant ways.

      Fred - 2012-03-02 06:56

      Patrick/Barry, why do you bother with these silly statements?

  • Fidel - 2012-03-01 11:51

    The Rogue Nazi bastard child is at it again! Their own security assessment tells them that attacking Iran is not wise. let the Iranian rockets rain on tel aviv.

      Fred - 2012-03-01 17:02

      More heartless mad thinking from you Fidel. You're showing yourself to be a true madman.

      Fred - 2012-03-02 04:59

      You're still upside. The rogue Iranian regime that rigged the last elections and violently suppressed opposition has threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and denies the occurrence of the Holocaust, the single biggest attempt at genocide in the history of humankind. Iran and the other dictatorships of the Middle East invaded Israel twice, in the 1960's, but failed. They fuel weapons to the Palestinians who launch almost daily attacks on Israel. Everyone with a clear mind knows the UNELECTED dictators of the Middle East are the aggressors. Israel has every right to defend herself. And most importantly she has the support of the strongest nations on Earth. These dictators don't stand a chance. That's why they don't do it themselves. They're cowards, essentially. Instead they use the Palestinians to district their populations from their disenfranchisement, and to hold on to power. This is a big lie that is in the process of being exposed, just like the Apartheid regime's racist ideas. Lies.

      Fred - 2012-03-02 20:32

      This is another example of your vile, racist, genocidal and bigoted thinking Fidel. Sick and disgusting.

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