The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country’s nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile, Hezbollah is threatening that Iran could hit U.S. bases in the Middle East in response to any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities even if American forces played no role in the attack.
“A decision has been taken to respond and the response will be very great,” Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen television.
According to one report, Washington used covert back-channels in Europe to clarify that the US does not intend to back Israel in a strike that may spark a regional conflict. In return, Washington reportedly expects Iran to steer clear of strategic American assets in the Persian Gulf, such as military bases and aircraft carriers.
Heightened Israeli rhetoric about Tehran’s nuclear facilities, which the West says could be part of a weapons program, has stoked speculation that it may attack Iran before U.S. elections in November.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged world powers to set a “clear red line” to convince Iran they would prevent it from obtaining nuclear arms.
But Netanyahu’s cabinet is divided over the wisdom of attacking Iran, and Israeli officials have dropped heavy hints of a climbdown strategy, under which Netanyahu would shelve threats of an attack now in return for a stronger public pledge from President Barack Obama on conditions that would provoke U.S. action in future.
Israeli officials reported an unprecedented low in the two nations’ defense ties.
Read more at Yahoo News.