Israelis think Obama administration leaking to media to prevent Iran strike
There certainly has been a lot of information being published lately about possible Israeli plans for a military strike against Iran. Where is it coming from? The Israelis say - Washington.
Two reports today about Iran's nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli military strike have analysts in Israel accusing the Obama administration leaking information to pressure Israel not to bomb Iran and for Iran to reach a compromise in upcoming nuclear talks.
The first report in Foreign Policy quotes anonymous American officials saying that Israel has been given access to airbases by Iran's northern neighbor Azerbaijan from which Israel could launch air strikes or at least drones and search and rescue aircraft.
The second report from Bloomberg, based on a leaked congressional report, said that Iran's nuclear facilities are so dispersed that it is "unclear what the ultimate effect of a strike would be..." A strike could delay Iran as little as six months, a former official told the researchers.
"It seems like a big campaign to prevent Israel from attacking," analyst Yoel Guzansky at the Institute for National Security Studies told ABC News. "I think the [Obama] administration is really worried Jerusalem will attack and attack soon. They're trying hard to prevent it in so many ways."
The Foreign Policy report by Mark Perry quotes an intelligence officer saying, "We're watching what Iran does closely...But we're now watching what Israel is doing in Azerbaijan. And we're not happy about it."
If true, the deal with Azerbaijan "totally changes the whole picture," says Guzansky, making it far easier for Israel to strike faster and harder, rather than having to fly 2,200 miles to Iran and back over Iraqi airspace.
One of Obama's biggest worries isn't related to Iranian nukes, but to his own political skin. An Israeli strike would cause the price of crude oil to skyrocket and we simply can't have that in an election year. Other possible scenarios include the US being forced to take a hand in the attack if Iran goes after some of our assets in the Gulf, or Iraq. An American attack on Iran would draw worldwide condemnation - also something that candidate Obama wants to avoid.
Maybe if Obama started to think like an ally and not a candidate, he might change his tune.