`If Israel attacks Iran, US will have to join it`
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 16:10
Jerusalem: Should Jerusalem decide to launch a military offensive against Iran, Washington will find it difficult not to join hands with its "great ally", a top ranking former US official has said.

Contending that Israel cannot alone carry out a successful attack against the Islamic Republic's nuclear installations, Charles F. Wald, former deputy commander of United States European Command, said a military strike on Iran could set back the Islamic Republic's alleged nuclear weapons programme by several years, but, he stressed, "I don't think Israel can do it alone," daily Ha'aretz reported.

Wald's comments were made at an annual gathering of financial backers of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy yesterday, who were joined by diplomats, journalists and analysts.

"They have a fantastic military, but not big enough for weeks or months of attacks--hundreds of sorties per day," the daily quoted him as saying.

However the former US defence official also noted that should "our great ally Israel" decide to take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, "pressure will mount for us to stand by Israel".

When asked to comment on the suggestion given by former US president Jimmy Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski last month that the American army shoot down Israeli warplanes if they try to fly over Iraq to attack Iran, Wald quipped, "The chance of that is zero--no, less than zero".

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 16:10

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