Israel denies report Obama aide shared Iran war plan

JERUSALEM Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:58am EDT

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A senior Israeli official denied on Sunday a newspaper report that President Barack Obama's national security adviser had briefed Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a U.S. contingency plan to attack Iran should diplomacy fail to curb its nuclear program.

The Israeli liberal Haaretz daily on Sunday quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying the adviser, Thomas Donilon, had described the plan over dinner with Netanyahu earlier this month.

"Nothing in the article is correct. Donilon did not meet the prime minister for dinner, he did not meet him one-on-one, nor did he present operational plans to attack Iran," the senior official, who declined to be named given the sensitivity of the issue, told Reuters.

Haaretz said the briefing was the most significant effort by high-level U.S. officials who had visited Israel in the past month, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to try to dissuade Israel from launching its own military strike on Iran.

The report coincided with a visit to Israel by Obama's main rival in his reelection bid this November, Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who was due to meet the conservative Netanyahu on Sunday.

Haaretz said Donilon had told Netanyahu the Pentagon was planning for a possible decision to attack Iran's nuclear sites, and had shown him some of the plans.

The failure of talks between Iran and six world powers to secure a breakthrough in curbing what the West fears is a drive to develop nuclear weapons has raised international concerns that Israel, widely assumed to be the Middle East's only nuclear-armed state, may opt for a go-it-alone military strike.

Israel has warned the West it thinks it is only a matter of time before Iran's nuclear programme achieves a "zone of immunity" in which bombs will not be able to effectively strike uranium enrichment facilities buried deep underground.

Iran says its programme is solely for peaceful purposes.

On a visit to Jerusalem this month, Clinton said Israel and Washington were "on the same page" with respect to Iran, calling Iran's latest proposals to world power talks on the issue "non starters."

"Our own choice is clear, we will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," Clinton said.

(Reporting by Dan Williams; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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Comments (9)
scythe wrote:
hey clinton, your conscience didn’t stop your white house from using depleted uranium ammunition and plutonium in kosovo, kuwait, iraqi and afghan civilian settlements

using depleted uranium, plutonium and “nuclear waste” in ammunition is radioactive chemical warfare

depleted uranium ammunition is a war crime

ask the “friendly” war veterans who suffered radiation sickness

(quote) “From all accounts, peacekeepers, civilians and relief workers in Kosovo were surprised to learn about depleted-uranium contamination in their midst. There, as in Iraq, children had long been playing on destroyed equipment. In addition, adults had scavenged destroyed equipment for usable parts and scrap metal.

European outrage increased when the U.N. disclosed that some depleted-uranium ammunition used in Kosovo contains plutonium and other highly radioactive elements. Pentagon spokesmen asserted that the amounts of plutonium in the ammunition are extremely low, but they have failed to publicly disclose the levels of plutonium in ammunition shot in Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and Kuwait and on training ranges in Japan, Germany, Puerto Rico and the United States.”

Jul 29, 2012 6:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
Considering all the “leaks” of classified information, that are coming from SOMEWHERE inside our government (and I suspect the WH Staff, myself) . . . This, rather dubious, denial, BY AN “UNNAMED SOURCE”, makes me wonder if the claim isn’t absolutely true. Israel may be an “Ally”, but they have a totally self centric agenda, have spied on the US many times themselves, and would throw us under the bus if it suits their purposes.

Jul 29, 2012 8:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
boreal wrote:
With all the horrors of another looming ME war, Israel is on track to elect America’s next president.

Jul 29, 2012 10:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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