Israel takes back promise to Obama not to attack Iran before the election
The Debka news agency quotes sources from America’s capital that say Israel has withdrawn its earlier promise to avoid striking Iran before the upcoming US presidential election this fall. The reason, reports Debka, heavily revolves around President Obama’s refusal to side with Israel’s demands in dealing with the rumored emerging threat of a nuclear program in Iran.Previously, authorities in Israel told the White House that they would refrain from striking Iran until after Election Day as to avoid marring the race by possibly involving the US in an international war. Because President Obama has not put his foot down on Iran’s alleged nuclear warhead procurement plan, Israeli officials are not reportedly willing to attack at any moment."There is no need to tell us what to do, and we have no reason to panic. Israel is very, very strong, but we do know that the Iranians are accomplished chess players and will try to achieve nuclear capabilities,” reads a translated statement from Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivered this week in Hebrew. “Our position has not changed. The world must stop Iran from becoming nuclear. All options remain on the table."Minister Barak offered his statement on May 23, less than a week after attending a meeting in Washington. On May 17, Barak spoke with US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon outside of Washington to discuss the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran, at which point Debka reports he was told that Obama had rejected the Jewish state’s plea. Debka’s sources say Obama was unwilling to demand that Iran halt their “high-grade uranium enrichment, export its stocks of material enriched higher than 3.5 percent grade and shut down production at the Fordo nuclear plant near Qom.”Debka adds that, after the meeting with his US counterpart, Defense Minister Barak spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon over the ongoing Iran issue but was unable to have either member of the Obama administration aid in Israel’s plea to sanction Iran.Previously, President Obama has gone on the record to say that he stands by America’s alliance with Israel and told The Atlantic earlier this year, "I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff.”"I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But (both) governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say,” added Obama.President Obama and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Washington back in March during the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, where the Iran issue was a major topic of discussion. Despite urging from overseas, however, the White House yet refused to formally side with any military strikes on Iran.