Jerusalem: The US ignored its close ally Israel's request for its nod to attack Iran's nuclear facilities during the peak of the opposition movement against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election.
Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida quoted a US diplomatic source based in Jerusalem as saying that after the opposition riots broke out in Iran following June's Presidential
Elections, Israel asked Obama administration to give green light to strike Tehran's nuclear facilities and other vital installations, news portal Ynetnews reported.
Washington ignored the Israeli request that was reportedly sent by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with President Shimon Peres' signature on it as well.
Israel was serious about its intentions to attack Iran and hit it hard, but the US' lack of response to the request left Israel frustrated and the operation was called off, the source said.
The diplomatic source also reportedly said that the White House's decision to withdraw its recognition of Ahmadinejad's re-election came due to pressures from Israel and other moderate states.
"We were under Israel and Arab pressure to take back our recognition of him", the source was quoted as saying.
"There are moderate Arab countries that do not want us to recognise Ahmadinejad," he added. Meanwhile, a newly disclosed US Congressional document says that the State Department intelligence analysts continue to believe that Iran will be unable to produce weapons-grade uranium before 2013, the Washington Post reported yesterday.
The assessment, made by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, emphasised that its analysis was based on Iran's technical capability and was not an opinion about "when Iran might make any political decision" to produce the highly enriched uranium it needs to manufacture a bomb.
Israel considers Tehran's nuclear programme an existential threat and many a times officials here have hinted at possible military strike to foil the Islamic Republics nuclear ambitions.
Iran claims that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
First Published: Saturday, August 08, 2009, 16:11