Israel seriously considering military action against Iran: US report

March 5th, 2009 - 5:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 5 (ANI): A report by top US political figures and experts released on Wednesday in Washington has claimed that Israel is seriously considering unilateral military action against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The Jerusalem Post quoted the report as saying that Israel’’s time frame for action is growing shorter, not only because of Iranian advances, but because Teheran might soon acquire upgraded air defenses and disperse its nuclear program to additional locations.
The report, named as “Preventing a Cascade of Instability” was released by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP).
An early draft of the report was endorsed by Dennis Ross before he withdrew upon joining the Obama administration, in which he is serving as a special representative dealing with various countries in the region, including Iran.
Senator Evan Bayh of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Congressman Gary Ackerman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, were among the signatories.
The report has urged for intensifying international sanctions against Iran for the effective engagement of Obama administration with Tehran.
The bipartisan group has also advised increasing security guarantees and the supply of missile defenses and other protective measures to allies in the Middle East, both to reassure them of America’’s support to them.
The report has, however, noted that Israel is not interested in becoming part of an American nuclear umbrella as many Israelis fear that a declared US guarantee could come at the price of circumscribing Israel’’s freedom of action in confronting existential dangers.
Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg, one of the task force members who traveled to the region to research the report, expressed her concerns at a WINEP event on the report’’s release.
She noted that the timetable for an Israeli attack might be “significantly” moved up if Jerusalem believed Russia would fulfill its promise to supply Iran with the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which would greatly complicate any Israeli attack.
If the delivery does occur, the report recommends more arms sales to Israel, such as more modern aircraft, so it can maintain its military edge.
Later, she said that the aim of the report was to come up with strategies where neither the United States nor Israel was at the point of launching military action.
To that end, the 10-page document urges more international sanctions and expanding financial pressure taken by the US Treasury, by creating similar programs at the US Commerce and State Departments. (ANI)

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