Sunday, August 9, 2009
As Iran was grappling with the post-election unrest, Israel was reportedly preparing to strike the country’s nuclear facilities, a US diplomatic source says.
According to a US diplomat based in Jerusalem (al Quds), Israel asked the US administration for a green light to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and its other vital structures in the aftermath of the country’s post-election turmoil.
The call for the military strike came after the official announcement of the poll result in Iran prompted widespread protests across the country as opposition supporters took to the streets to protest “fraud” in the June 12 election.
Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida cited the diplomatic source as saying that the request was put forward by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, bearing President Shimon Peres’s signature as well.
The administration of President Barack Obama, however, did not take any notice of the Israeli request and consequently the operation was called off.
Tel Aviv put forward the request as it accuses Tehran — a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — of pursuing a nuclear program with military objectives and argues that the use of military force is a legitimate option in halting Iran’s nuclear progress.
Iran denies the Israeli claim, insisting that its nuclear enrichment program is solely directed at the civilian applications of the technology.
The US intelligence community, which issued a new assessment on Iran’s nuclear activities on Friday, believes that a political decision is yet to be made in Iran for building a nuclear bomb.
The review by the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research also contends that despite Iran’s progress toward producing enriched uranium, Tehran will not be technically capable of producing weapons-grade material before 2013.
This article was posted: Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 4:44 am