JERUSALEM — Israeli leaders have not asked the United States for approval to attack Iran for fear Washington will turn them down, according to a news report.
The Washington Times reported Tuesday that two unnamed Israeli officials close to Benjamin Netanyahu said the prime minister is concerned that the White House would not approve an Israeli request to launch military strikes on Iran’s nuclear program.
One of the officials told The Times that Netanyahu would not press the matter after President George Bush last year turned down a request by then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for U.S. aid for a strike on Iran.
The official said Netanyahu would not seek U.S. approval at this time since President Obama has stated his intention to engage Iran diplomatically.
“There was a decision not to press this because it was probably inadequate for the engagement policy and what we know about Obama’s approach to Iran,” one of the officials told the Washington Times.
Meanwhile, Obama told CNN on Tuesday morning that the United States had “absolutely not” given Israel the green light to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to reports.
Vice President Joe Biden had said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that “Israel can determine for itself — it’s a sovereign nation — what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.”
Biden said Israel could decide to attack Iran whether the United States agrees or not.