There has been ongoing speculation on the possibility of an Israeli-U.S. strike on Iran for quite some time. Publicly, the Obama administration has indicated that while military action was not off the table, it was also not the first choice of the administration. President Obama had hoped Israel would delay an attack on Iran until after the presidential election in November, but the Israeli government is apparently serious about attacking earlier.
"Israel is telling President Obama that unless there is a change of tack, Israel will go it alone. I do believe that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is serious about this," Reuters quoted Ehud Yaari saying. Yaari is an Israeli-based fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
According to the Jerusalem-based intelligence website DebkaFile, "the White House ... scrambled to reconnect with Jerusalem after the Obama administration was persuaded that Israel was serious about conducting a fall military operation against Iran's nuclear program before the Nov. 6 US presidential election."
"Obama and Netanyahu were discussing a one-on-one encounter on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session opening in New York on Sept. 18," DebkaFile revealed. And discussions "handled by National Security Adviser Tom Donilon for the US president and senior adviser Ron Dermer for the prime minister" have moved forward.
Reuters reports that Netanyahu wishes to secure three commitments from the Obama administration: “a pledge that the United States will attack if Iran does not back down; a tight deadline for negotiations with Tehran, which have so far proved fruitless; and a further tightening of the sanctions noose.”
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, along with the newly appointed Home Front Defense Minister, have reportedly made well-coordinated preparations for a war with Iran, and for the possible repercussions that would result.
Naturally, President Obama would prefer for such an endeavor to be postponed until after the elections, concerned that any decision on how to handle Iran, one way or another, could impact his chances for re-election.
But according to DebkaFile, Israel has several major requirements that the Obama administration would need to meet for delaying an attack on Iran. DebkaFile describes those requirements as follows:
1. President Obama will formally inform the two houses of congress in writing that he plans to use military force to prevent Iran from arming itself with a nuclear weapon. He will request their endorsement....