US didn’t share Iran war plan: Israel

A report had claimed that the Obama administration`s top security official has briefed Israel on US plans for a possible attack on Iran.

Updated: Jul 29, 2012, 19:51 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Jerusalem: A senior Israeli official on Sunday rejected a report that claimed that the Obama administration`s top security official has briefed Israel on US plans for a possible attack on Iran.

An article in the Haaretz daily said US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon laid out the plans before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a dinner at a visit to Israel earlier this month.

The senior official, who opted to remain anonymous, told a news agency: "Nothing in the article is correct. Donilon did not meet the Prime Minister for dinner, he did not meet him one-on-one, nor did he present operational plans to attack Iran."

Haaretz had cited an unidentified senior American official as the source of its report, which came out as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was telling Israel he would back an Israeli military strike against Iran.

The American official also said Donilon shared information on US weapons that could be used for such an attack, and on the US military`s ability to reach Iranian nuclear facilities buried deep underground, the newspaper said. It cited another US official involved in the talks with Israel as concluding that "the time for a military operation against Iran has not yet come”.

A spokesman for the US National Security Council, Tommy Vietor, declined to comment on the details of a private conversation between Netanyahu and Donilon.

In another development being linked to possible preparations of an attack against Iran, Secretary of the US Air Force, Michael Donley, told the Capitol Hill Club last week that the force`s new bunker buster bombs were ready for use if needed.

In recent months, the bombs have undergone technical improvements. The bombs, each weighing 15 tonnes, can destroy fortified bunkers deep underground where chemical or nuclear weapons may be stored.

This would include the uranium enrichment facility deep inside the mountains near the Iranian city of Qom, the report said.

The United States has told Israel several times that the existence of such weapons means Iran will never reach the point where its nuclear facilities are immune to attack.

American attempts to allay Israeli concerns will continue this week with the arrival on Tuesday of Defence Secretary Leon Panetta.

He is scheduled to meet Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and senior security and intelligence officials on Wednesday.

(With Agency inputs)