Israel allegedly refuses to disclose its plans to U.S. regarding Iran
Israel has “rebuffed” President Obama’s request that it disclose any plans to attack Iran, according to an anonymously sourced article in the U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph. Allegedly Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was told in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel would offer no guarantees that it would consult the U.S. before making a military strike against Iran.
The Telegraph says the meeting took place last month between Netanyahu and Panetta as well as Israeli Minster of Defense Ehud Barak. Panetta chose a time when all but a small number of trusted aides were present and relayed an urgent message from President Obama to the Prime Minister, a request for an “unshakeable guarantee” that Israel would not make a unilateral attack on Iran.
Barak and Netanyahu were reportedly evasive and refused to offer any such assurances. This has raised alarms in Washington, particularly in light of recent increasingly bellicose statements from Israeli officials with regards to Iran.
Tensions are high in both Iran and Israel. A readiness test in Tel-Aviv apparently sent beach-goers running to their cars, thinking that the air raid sirens were real. Similarly in Iran, there were panicked reactions to a huge accidental explosion at an armory near Tehran that occurred on Saturday.
In response to Israel’s stonewalling, the Telegraph article says that President Obama has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to ramp up their monitoring of Israel. American officials hope to discover whether the Jewish state truly intends to attack Iran or if the recent uptick in hostility between the two Middle Eastern nations is mere posturing.
[Ed. note –this story has been updated from a previous version to correct a typo.]