According to an Israeli newspaper, President-elect Obama plans to offer Israel a strategic pact to fend off any nuclear attack on the Jewish state by Iran.
“U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s administration will offer Israel a “nuclear umbrella” against the threat of a nuclear attack by Iran, a well-placed American source said earlier this week. The source, who is close to the new administration, said the U.S. will declare that an attack on Israel by Tehran would result in a devastating U.S. nuclear response against Iran.”
Assuming this to be true implies the Obama administration accepts as a fait accompli Iran is going to be a nuclear power and there is nothing the U.S. or the West can do to stop it.
Granting Israel a nuclear guarantee essentially suggests the Obama is willing to come to terms with nuclear Iran. For its part, Israel opposes any such development and similar opposition was voiced by officials in the outgoing Bush administration.
A senior source within Israeli security isn’t too thrilled with the idea stating,
“What is the significance of such guarantee when it comes from those who hesitated to deal with a non-nuclear Iran? What kind of credibility would this [guarantee have] when Iran is nuclear-capable?”
He didn’t say it, but he must have been thinking a U.S. retaliation on Iran after Tel Aviv is a smoldering ash heap might be tens of thousand of dead Israelis late.
Accepting the U.S. offer of nuclear protection could place Israel in an awkward position. The latitude for unilateral Israeli action could be limited. Similar Cold War treaties with NATO in Europe and the nuclear umbrella over Japan defended U.S. allies but obliged them to get Washington’s nod of approval for military moves.