26 September 2008
U.S. President George W. Bush rejected an Israeli plan to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities earlier this year and he is not expected to support a strike for the remainder of his term in office, the London Guardian reported today (see GSN, Sept. 25).
The United States and Israel are concerned that Iran’s nuclear program involves weapons development, an allegation Tehran has steadfastly denied.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proposed the attack to Bush in May during a private discussion in Jerusalem, according to high-level European diplomatic officials.
Olmert accepted that Bush’s refusal to support a strike was “where they were at the moment, and that the U.S. position was unlikely to change as long as Bush was in office,” one source said.
Bush said he would not support military action against Iran because an attack was unlikely to destroy all of the country’s nuclear sites and Tehran has promised to retaliate against U.S. military targets and oil trade in response to such an assault.
Israel would face major obstacles if it attempted to attack Iran without U.S. backing, one official said, noting that Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility “lies across Iraq and the U.S. has total control of Iraqi airspace.”
Olmert spokesman Mark Regev played down the Guardian report.
"The need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is raised at every meeting between the prime minister and foreign leaders. Israel prefers a diplomatic solution to this issue but all options must remain on the table,” he said (Jonathan Steele, London Guardian, Sept. 25).
Russia and the United States have agreed on a new resolution regarding Iran’s nuclear program to be put forward at the U.N. Security Council, the Associated Press reported. The resolution would propose no new sanctions but would reaffirm the last three rounds of penalties to illustrate that the council would pursue its demand for Iran to halt uranium enrichment activities (John Heilprin, Associated Press I/Yahoo!News, Sept. 26).
Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran must produce its nuclear power plant fuel indigenously because it could not count on other nations to provide it with a steady supply, the Associated Press reported.
Iran’s uranium enrichment program could produce nuclear power plant fuel but also highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.
"What guarantee do we have that they would give (the nuclear fuel) to us?" Ahmadinejad told journalists during his visit to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.
He said Western firms had backed out of major contracts with Iran following its 1979 Islamic revolution: "Iran paid billions (and) Western countries pulled out … Who do we take our complaints to?"
Ahmadinejad added that he is not worried that the United States could strike Iran’s nuclear sites.
"We're not concerned at all that a confrontation will occur," he said. "What (factors) demand a war?" (Brian Murphy, Associated Press II/Google News, Sept. 26).
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei has called on the United States to pursue direct dialogue with Iran in order to defuse the nuclear standoff, Agence France-Presse reported today.
In handling nuclear diplomacy with Iran, "it is not Europe who is in charge, but the United States," ElBaradei told the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview published today.
"The faster there are direct negotiations, the better are the chances of reaching a solution," he said. "If the United States sits down at a table with North Korea, a regime that is not considered democratic and which also possesses nuclear arms, I don't understand why they can't negotiate with Iran” (Agence France-Presse I/Spacewar.com, Sept. 26).
Obama's true agenda...Throw Israel Under the Bus
JOHN VOIGHT ON OBAMA'S DISTAIN FOR ISRAEL
A message to the Jewish people and the entire world
Chronicles I - 16:15-18: "Forever remember His covenant that he commanded forever; That He made with Abraham and swore to Isaac; and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel, as an eternal covenant; saying to You I will give the Land of Cannan as your alloted heritage"