Posted by: jhamon | July 7, 2009

Israel declines to ask U.S. to OK Iran attack

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanya...

Netanyahu

EXCLUSIVE from the Washington Times:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his top deputies have not formally asked for U.S. aid or permission for possible military strikes on Iran’s nuclear program, fearing the White House would not approve, two Israeli officials said.

One senior Israeli official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, told The Washington Times that Mr. Netanyahu determined that “it made no sense” to press the matter after the negative response President Bush gave Mr. Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud Olmert, when he asked early last year for U.S. aid for possible military strikes on Iran.

Israel is increasingly nervous that Iran is developing the capability to build a nuclear weapon, an intention Iran denies. However, Israel is unlikely to attack Iran without at least tacit U.S. approval, in part because that would require cooperation from the United States. At the very least, Israel likely would have to fly over Iraqi airspace, which is still effectively controlled by the U.S. Air Force.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. refused during a television appearance Sunday to say whether the U.S. would give Israel overflight rights for such an attack, but said it was Israel’s “sovereign right” to attack Iran if it considers the Iranian nuclear program an existential threat.

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