Israeli officials said this week they won’t warn the United States if they decide to launch a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. The pronouncement was delivered in a series of private top-level conversations with U.S. officials.
Israeli officials said that if they decide a strike is necessary, they will keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood of the United States being held responsible for failing to stop the attack, said one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The United States has been working with the Israelis for months to convince them that an attack would be only a temporary setback to Iran’s nuclear program.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivered the message to a series of high-level U.S. visitors, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House national security adviser, the director of national intelligence and top U.S. lawmakers, all trying to close the trust gap between Israel and the United States over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. — ap