Israel may attack Iran before US election: Report


London : Israel is planning a military strike against Iran’s nuclear programme before the US presidential elections in November, a media report said.

Support TwoCircles

According to British officials, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has begun a process of getting support for airstrikes and build a case for military action, the Daily Mail reported.

A military correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10 News said the country was “closer than ever” to a strike against Iran.

He said Netanyahu was “determined” to attack Iran before the US election Nov 6.

Israeli leaders believe that US President Barack Obama would be forced to back an Israeli strike, even though US military chiefs are against it, for fear of alienating Jewish voters.

Tensions have grown after Iran displayed a new arsenal of Fateh-110 short-range missiles designed to destroy targets within 300 km, including US warships in the Persian Gulf.

Netanyahu has described Iran’s nuclear ambitions as “an existential threat” that could be used to destroy the Jewish state.

British and American security chiefs believe military action would spark a lethal Middle East conflict.

British diplomats and intelligence chiefs believe Netanyahu is preparing the ground for possible military action but stress they have no foreknowledge of any attack.

“We would not expect to know anything about it in advance,” an official said.

“It is not even clear whether they would tell the Americans until very close to the act itself, or possibly slightly after it.”

Obama has sent many senior officials to Israel in recent months, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to try to persuade Netanyahu that the sanctions in place will force Iran to abandon its nuclear programme.

Even Israeli defence and intelligence figures have opposed an Israeli attack.

Military analysts have warned that, without US bunker-busting bombs and other vital armaments, Israel cannot destroy Iran’s well-defended nuclear installations.