A flurry of US official visits to Israel recently, to culminate with next week’s high profile visit by Vice President Joe Biden, are aimed at reassuring the Middle East nation about America’s opposition to Iran, and to stave off a potential Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.
Concerns about the potential attack appear to be growing as Israeli officials express growing fury at America’s inability to push through international sanctions on Iran, with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announcing in Washington last week that he didn’t believe Israel needed to “coordinate” with the US on attacking Iran.
US confidence over getting the sanctions seems to be faltering, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying that it could take months to get a new UN resolution against Iran approved.
China remains steadfastly opposed to the sanctions, warning they will harm the diplomatic process. Russia has likewise expressed opposition to the Israeli demand for “crippling” sanctions, saying it would only support very limited additional sanctions against Iran.
US military officials have warned that an Israeli attack on Iran would be perceived as being backed by America, and that American targets would almost certainly be hit in retaliation. Vice President Joe Biden insisted last year that Israel was ‘entitled’ to attack Iran whenever it feels like it, despite the potential consequences to the US.