Obama expects ‘no surprises’: Israel won’t strike Iran without U.S. permission

TEL AVIV — President Barack Obama expects Israel to seek U.S. approval before attacking Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Obama said he was confident that Israel would not attack Iran without U.S. permission.

In a July 8 interview on Israeli television, Obama did not disclose whether he discussed a proposed Israeli attack on Teheran during his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the previous day.

The president was interviewed by Israel’s Channel 2 after the 90-minute session with the prime minister, which marked the first time Obama met the Israeli media since he entered office.

The president, who has pursued a reconciliation policy with Teheran, said the strategic relationship between Israel and the United States would not allow for a unilateral Israeli strike.

“I think the relationship between Israel and the U.S. is sufficiently strong that neither of us try to surprise each other,” Obama said.

In 2010, the Obama administration, including Vice President Joseph Biden, warned Israel not to attack Iran. Netanyahu, who has urged the international community to intensify sanctions, has repeatedly assured that Israel was not planning an imminent strike on Iran.

Since 2007, officials said, the United States has withheld military systems that could facilitate an Israeli air strike on Iran. The banned systems were said to have included air refueling, advanced reconnaissance and buster-bunker bombs, long requested by Israel.

Obama also said Israel and the PA could reach a full settlement by the end of his first term in 2013. The president did not respond to a question of whether he was pressing Israel to extend its 10-month ban on Jewish construction in the West Bank and most of Jerusalem.

“I think [Netanyahu] understands we’ve got a fairly narrow window of opportunity,” Obama said. “We probably won’t have a better opportunity than we have right now. And that has to be seized. It’s going to be difficult.”

“But we try to coordinate on issues of mutual concern,” Obama said.

Source:  // World Tribune

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