Contrary to some published reports, the U.S. did not give Israel the go-ahead for an attack on Iran when Adm. Michael Mullen visited Israel in late June.
That’s the word from professor Anthony H. Cordesman, a former Pentagon official and currently the top defense analyst at ABC-TV. He was also Sen. John McCain's national security assistant.
Speaking during a meeting with Israeli defense analysts held by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies on Monday, Cordesman said Mullen, current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained the U.S. stance to Israeli Defense Force Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi during the June visit.
Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reports that Mullen said the president, the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are working through diplomatic channels to put pressure on Iran: "The best way to solve it diplomatically is for the United States to work with other nations to send a focused message, and that is that you will be isolated and you will have economic hardship if you continue trying to enrich," explained Mullen.
Cordesman said senior American officers do not make such public statements without permission from the White House.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the U.S. “has opted at this point to stick to the diplomatic track in its efforts to keep Iran from going nuclear, and has made clear to Israel that it shouldn’t attack Iran without White House approval, Cordesman said.”
He also noted that U.S. policy is not likely to change before the next president is sworn in.
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