A Bethlehem news agency has reported that President Obama threatened to use the U.S. military last year to shoot down Israeli warplanes if they tried to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities.
According to the The Washington Times, the threat deterred Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from dispatching warplanes into Iran after Israel discovered that the U.S. had entered into secretive talks with Tehran.
On Sunday, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported that a source deep within the ranks confirmed that an unidentified Israeli minister shared the plans to Secretary of State John Kerry. The source also stated that Obama replied with a warning that he would thwart the plan by shooting down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets.
“Netanyahu and his commanders agreed after four nights of deliberations to task the Israeli army’s chief of staff, Benny Gantz, to prepare a qualitative operation against Iran’s nuclear program. In addition, Netanyahu and his ministers decided to do whatever they could do to stop a possible agreement between Iran and the White House because such an agreement is, allegedly, a threat to Israel’s security,” the report said.
The Washington Times reported that the Israeli plan was practiced for several weeks in the form of aerial war exercises, and that Israeli Air Force even test-flew their fighter jets over Iranian airspace to simulate the actual planned attack.
The stunning revelations come only two days before Netanyahu is scheduled to speak before U.S. Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat.
Last week, Israel’s Channel 2 reported that Saudi Arabia agreed to allow Israel to use its airspace to attack Iran if necessary in exchange “some kind of progress” on the Palestinian issue.
“The Saudis have declared their readiness for the Israeli Air Force to overfly Saudi air space en route to attack Iran if an attack is necessary,” the report stated, quoting an unnamed European source. “The Saudi authorities are completely coordinated with Israel on all matters related to Iran.”
The White House and U.S. State Department press offices did not immediately respond to email inquiries sent by The Washington Times on Sunday afternoon.