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September 5, 2019 10:59 am

NYT: Israel Considering Iran Strike, Came ‘Startlingly’ Close in 2012

avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump at Ben-Gurion International Airport, May 23, 2017. Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO.

JNS.org – The United States believes that Israel is considering a military strike against Iran, with or without US approval, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The report, “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran,” details Israel’s years-long effort to advocate and prepare for a strike on the Islamic Republic, and questions whether unlike his predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama, US President Donald Trump will attempt to stop Israel from doing so.

The information for the article was gathered through “interviews with dozens of current and former American, Israeli and European officials over several months,” according to the Times, and reveals the “startling details of how close the Israeli military came to attacking Iran in 2012.”

The interviews also show “the extent to which the Obama administration felt required to develop its own military contingency plans in the event of such an attack, including destroying a full-size mock-up of an Iranian nuclear facility in the western desert of the United States with a 30,000-pound bomb; how Americans monitored Israel even as Israel monitored Iran, with American satellites capturing images of Israel launching surveillance drones into Iran from a base in Azerbaijan; and previously unknown details about the scope of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s pressure campaign to get Trump to leave the Iran deal.”

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Netanyahu is quoted in the report as saying the potential attack in 2012 “was not a bluff; it was real. And only because it was real were the Americans truly worried about it.”

“If I’d had a majority, I would have done it,” said Netanyahu. “Unequivocally.”

The Times reported that “a parade of top American officials began flying to Israel during Barack Obama’s first term to take the measure of the Israeli planning and to convince Netanyahu and [then Defense Minister] Ehud Barak that the United States was taking the problem seriously and that Iran was hardly on the brink of getting the bomb.”

Regarding the possibility that the Trump administration would strike another deal with Iran rather than continue applying pressure on the regime, Netanyahu told the Times that “this time, we will have far greater ability to exert influence [compared to during the Obama presidency].”

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