Israel won't warn US on Iran strike

Israeli officials say they won’t warn the US if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations with US officials, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the US would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel's potential attack, said one US intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The US has been working with the Israelis for months to convince them that an attack would be only a temporary setback to Iran’s nuclear programme.

Israeli defence officials confirmed that there are no plans to alert the US ahead of time about any operation against Iran, though they stressed no decisions have been made on whether to attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak delivered the message to a series of high-level US visitors to the country, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House national security adviser, the director of national intelligence and top US lawmakers, all trying to close the trust gap between Israel and the US over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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