The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is preparing the option to strike Iran's nuclear sites even without consent from the United States, local daily The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
Although Israel prefers acting with coordination with the United States, its staunchest ally, the IDF is preparing a wide range of options for such an operation, including those that do not include coordination, defense officials were quoted as saying.
Officials told the newspaper that it would be difficult, but not impossible, to launch a strike against Iran without receiving codes from the US Air Force, which controls Iraqi airspace, through which Israeli aircraft would need to pass for such a possible raid.
Outgoing US President George W. Bush has refused to give Israel a green light for an attack on Iranian facilities, said the report, noting that the United States also refused to provide Israel the codes in 1991 during the First Gulf War.
Amid signs indicating thawing relations between the United States and Iran, Israeli officials are increasingly worried that the US government might soften its once hardline stance on the Iranian nuclear issue, although US officials have resoundingly refused to rule out any option.
Earlier this week, Iran dismissed the possibility of an Israeli strike, saying that it did not take Israel seriously. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told reporters in Tehran that ongoing international developments and internal affairs make Israel unable to launch military strikes against other countries and "Israel makes threats to promote its psychological and media warfare."
(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2008)