Russia Today – March 21, 2013
The US is taking plans for a possible military operation against Iran “very seriously,” a senior Israeli security official, who is said to be in the know about aspects of the American plan, has told Haaretz daily.
“Obama’s administration, as opposed to that of his predecessor, George Bush, has prepared a pinpoint military option in the event that the United States decides to attack in the end,” the unnamed official told the Israeli newspaper.
“The Americans, if they choose, will be able to mount a focused operation on the Iranian nukes without necessarily sparking a comprehensive regional war.”
The source pointed out that Israeli security services are privy to ongoing US moves to tighten sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear program and to prepare for a possibility of a military operation.
“It’s very important for them to convey determination,” the official told the paper. “We saw this in the words of Vice President Joe Biden…we’ll hear it again from the president in Israel.”
Earlier in March, Biden stated that Obama’s threats to use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons was “not a bluff,” adding though that Washington would prefer a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iran.
“The president of the United States cannot, and does not, bluff,” Biden stated during a conference of AIPAC, a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies.
According to the Israeli official, the US Administration “mean what they say.” In his view, “Their problem is historical precedent: After North Korea obtained nuclear capability, Israel is skeptical,” Haaretz reports.
On Wednesday, Obama arrived in Jerusalem for his first trip to Israel as president to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Among other things, the leaders of the allied states are expected to discuss how to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Ahead of his Middle East tour, Obama reiterated the US commitment to preventing Iran from creating a bomb.
“We think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close,” he told Israeli Channel 2. The American leader added he would tell Netanyahu that if diplomatic efforts to sort the Iranian problem fail, “I continue to keep all options on the table.” The United States has “significant capabilities” to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon “that could threaten Israel or could trigger an arms race in the region,” he emphasized.