Top Obama security official ‘briefed Israeli prime minister on plans for U.S. military strike on Iran’ in nuclear row
America fears Tehran nuclear programme is aimed at developing bombs
By Craig Mackenzie
PUBLISHED: 13:20, 29 July 2012 | UPDATED: 14:26, 29 July 2012
One of President Barack Obama’s top security officials has briefed Israel’s prime minister on U.S. plans for a possible attack on Iran, it was claimed today.
National security adviser Tom Donilon sought to reassure Israel that Washington is prepared to act militarily should diplomacy and sanctions fail to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear enrichment programme.
He met premier Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to the country earlier this month, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz.
An Israeli government spokesman did not respond to a request for comment and a U.S. Embassy spokesman could not be reached.
Both Israel and America think Iran’s programme under the leadership of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is aimed at developing bombs, and not for peaceful purposes as Tehran claims.
Iran has threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, which is used by 40 per cent of the world’s oil tankers, in revenge for sanctions imposed on the country.
But the U.S. has insisted that it will not allow Iran to choke off one of the world’s busiest shipping routes and an American military official said that ‘any disruption will not be tolerated.’
A Pentagon spokesman warned that Iran would destroy its own ‘economic lifeline’ if it disrupted the international oil trade.
Tensions rose after Iran’s top naval commander bragged that shutting down the Gulf would be ‘easier than drinking a glass of water.’
And they continued to escalate with Iran revealing one of its surveillance planes has recorded video and photographed a U.S. aircraft carrier near an area where it was carrying out military maneuvers .
If Iran were successfully to block access to the Strait of Hormuz, the price of crude oil would almost certainly rise dramatically.
Following a mistaken report last year that the strait had already been closed, the oil price jumped by $2, to over $100 a barrel.
A senior Saudi official has insisted in the past that Gulf nations would be able to make up for any shortfall caused by the sanctions, but this would be of little use if Iran succeeded in cutting off the strait.