September 9, 2013 | Quote

Report: Obama ‘Vetoed’ Israeli Strike on Iran

President Barack Obama refused to let Israel strike Iran last year despite the Israeli prime minister’s willingness to sign off on such an attack, according to statements made by a former top Israeli military leader earlier this week.

Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser to the Israeli government and a retired Major General in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), told the Israeli press that Obama “vetoed” the strike, which was planned to take place at the height of the 2012 election cycle.

“Israel has the capability to destroy the Iranian nuclear program” and was prepared to do so, Eiland was quoted as saying in a private meeting earlier this month, according to the Israeli paper Mida.

Middle East expert Jonathan Schanzer said that while Israel and the United States have been closely coordinating on Iran, it is unlikely that Netanyahu ordered a strike without first consulting the White House.

“The U.S. and Israel have been coordinating and communicating for the last several year,” said Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). “This is by far the top issue on the table for both countries. The idea Israel would have scrambled jets and then have that shot down by the U.S. military seems unlikely.”

However, it remains true that “the Israelis have a different timetable than the U.S.” when it comes to striking Iran.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.


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