Israelis Say They Won’t Inform U.S. if They Decide to Strike Iran

Israeli officials say they won’t warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions told the Associated Press. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill.

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 U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel’s potential attack. The U.S. has been working with the Israelis for months to persuade them that an attack would be only a temporary setback to Iran’s nuclear program.

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.

But the apparent decision to keep the U.S. in the dark also stems from Israel’s frustration with the White House. After a visit by National Security Adviser Tom Donilon in particular, they became convinced the Americans would neither take military action, nor go along with unilateral action by Israel against Iran. The Israelis concluded they would have to conduct a strike unilaterally — a point they are likely to hammer home in a series of meetings over the next two weeks in Washington, the official said.

Source: Fox News

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‘Cold War’ with Iran Looms Over Middle East

Worries of Israel striking Iran might or might not be overblown but across the region the largely hidden “cold war” between Tehran and its enemies is escalating fast, bringing with it wider risk of conflict. Speculation Israel might attack Iran’s nuclear program has been rife in the Israeli media and oil markets in recent weeks, with concerns that Tehran might retaliate with devastating attacks on Gulf oil shipments.

An increasingly isolated Iran alarms not just Israel and the West but its Gulf neighbors, especially longtime foe Saudi Arabia, and they are already fighting back. From proxy wars in Iraq and Syria to computer worm attacks and unexplained explosions in Iran – to allegations of an assassination plot in Washington – a confrontation once kept behind the scenes is breaking into increasingly open view.

“With Iran, you have a government that is increasingly isolated and acting in increasingly unpredictable ways,” says Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and National Studies in Washington.  “There is certainly the risk that a country will take the deliberate decision to attack Iran. But there is also the risk that something happens that provokes… a war that nobody planned and nobody wants.”

With the euro zone crisis still far from over and worldwide demand already faltering, such action and the resulting oil price surge could be disastrous for the global economy. Many such confrontations across the region appear escalating fast – and becoming much harder for Washington and its allies to control.


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