We have another apparent leak from the Obama administration, with Haaretz reporting (behind a paywall) that the United States has presented Israel with contingency plans for striking Iran.
The Haaretz daily says National Security Adviser Tom Donilon sought to reassure Israel that Washington is prepared to act military should diplomacy and sanctions fail to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear enrichment program.
Haaretz said Sunday that Donilon detailed the plans to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a visit to Israel earlier this month.
An Israeli government spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. A U.S. Embassy spokesman couldn’t be reached.
Meanwhile, on Sunday morning, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told Prime Minister Netanyahu that he will support any action Israel wants to take against Iran.
“If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision,” Romney’s senior national security aide Dan Senor told reporters travelling with the candidate.
The comment made ahead of Romney’s planned meetings in Jerusalem with Israeli leaders seemed to differ with attempts by President Barack Obama to convince Israel to avoid any preemptive attack and let a regimen of international sanctions squeeze Iran’s economy until it agrees to nuclear concessions.
In excepts of a speech Romney was to deliver on Monday evening, the former Massachusetts governor planned to say that an aggressive approach to Tehran was needed to protect against a threat to the very existence of Israel, the closest U.S. ally in the turbulent Middle East.
“When Iran’s leaders deny the Holocaust or speak of wiping this nation off the map, only the naïve – or worse – will dismiss it as an excess of rhetoric,” he would say. “Make no mistake: the ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defences. They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way.”