Sunday, July 29, 2012

UK: Romney talks tough on Iran without knowing that the White House acts to support Israeli military preparations

The Guardian

Mitt Romney would support Israeli military strike against Iran, says aide

US presidential candidate to say in speech in Israel that stopping Iran's nuclear arms capability must be 'highest priority'

Romney is seeking to sharply differentiate his position from that of President Obama, who has urged caution on Israel's leaders regarding a military strike against Iran. Sanctions and diplomacy must be given time to reap results, Obama has said.

However, a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz said a senior US official briefed Netanyahu on America's contingency plans for possible military action in the event of sanctions and diplomacy failing.

National security adviser Tom Donilon, who visited Israel two weeks ago, shared details of the preparations, including US weaponry and military capability for striking underground facilities, during a three-hour meeting with the Israeli prime minister, according to the report which was sourced to "a senior American official".
The timing of the story suggests a desire by the administration to pre-empt Romney's presentation of himself as a more robust supporter of tough action against Iran.

However, the report was denied by a senior Israeli official. "Nothing in the article is correct. Donilon did not meet the prime minister for dinner, he did not meet him one-on-one, nor did he present operational plans to attack Iran," said the official, speaking anonymously.

Romney's efforts to win over American Jewish voters are having limited success, according to a recent opinion poll, which puts support for Obama at 68% among US Jews compared with 25% for the Republican candidate. Although a drop from the 75% of American Jews who backed Obama in the 2008 election, the latest figures also represent sliding support for Romney compared with a Gallup poll in June, which gave 29% of the Jewish vote to the Republican and 64% to Obama.

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