Did Obama threaten to shoot down Israeli jet?

ct-sc-nw-inauguration-fever-p1.jpg-20130119The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack. The Netanyahu government allegedly took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States had been involved in secret talks with the Islamic Republic over Iran’s nuclear programme and were about to sign an agreement behind Israel’s back.

The report claimed that last year an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the US administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran. According to “well-placed” sources Netanyahu, along with Minister of Defence Moshe Yaalon, and the then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, had decided to carry out airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear programme after consultations with top security commanders.

“Netanyahu and his commanders agreed after four nights of deliberations to task the Israeli army’s chief of staff, Benny Gantz, with preparing a qualitative operation against Iran’s nuclear programme. In addition, Netanyahu and his ministers decided to do whatever they could do to thwart a possible agreement between Iran and the White House because such an agreement constituted  a threat to Israel’s security.”

The sources added that Gantz and his commanders prepared the requested plan and that Israeli fighter jets trained for several weeks in preparation. Israeli fighter jets reportedly even carried out experimental flights in Iran’s airspace after they managed to break through radars.

Brzezinski’s idea

Former US diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski, who enthusiastically campaigned for Obama in 2008, called on him to shoot down Israeli planes if they attack Iran. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” said the former national security advisor to former President Jimmy Carter. “We have to be serious about denying them that right,” he noted. “If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a ‘Liberty’ in reverse.’” His comment referred to an attack mistakenly made by Israel on  the American ship Liberty during the Six-Day War in 1967. Brzezinski was a top candidate to become an official advisor to President Obama, but was downgraded after Republican and pro-Israel Democratic charges during the campaign that Brzezinski’s anti-Israel attitude would damage Obama at the polls.

This article by Mark Langfan originally appeared at isrealnationalnews.com

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