London, Nov 13: Israel has reportedly refused to inform US President Barack Obama in advance of any pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
According to sources, Obama was rebuffed last month when he demanded private guarantees that no strike would go ahead without White House notification, suggesting Israel no longer plans to “seek Washington’s permission”.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta earlier said during a private meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, that the US president wanted an unshakable guarantee that Israel would not carry out a unilateral military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations without first seeking Washington’s clearance.
According to the Telegraph, the two Israelis were notably evasive in their response.
“They did not suggest that military action was being planned or was imminent, but neither did they give any assurances that Israel would first seek Washington’s permission, or even inform the White House in advance that a mission was underway,” the paper quoted a source, as saying.
Alarmed by Netanyahu’s noncommittal response, Obama reportedly ordered the US intelligence services to step up monitoring of Israel to glean clues of its intentions.
According to the report, two weeks ago Israel tested a long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching Iran, its first since 2008.
Shortly before, the Israeli airforce took part in NATO exercises in Sardinia that involved air-to-air refuelling, a key component of an aerial strike on Iran. (ANI)