A report quoting an unnamed American official as saying that Israel will not provide the US with advance notice of an attack on Iranian nuclear installations is seen by some a further indication that Jerusalem is tipping toward green-lighting the mission. Many also see the report as providing Washington with plausible deniability should it want to distance itself from the operation. The conventional wisdom circulating in the two capitals is that the Israelis have been unable to convince the US administration that action must be taken before Iran’s nuclear installations become “immune” – protected by fortified defensive layers rendering them impervious to an assault. The US has sent a succession of senior defense officials to Jerusalem to plead with the Israelis to stand down and give sanctions more time to work. The disagreement remains over the latest time an attack could succeed. Israel also believes action must be taken before a nuclear weapon can be created while the US believes any action would be triggered when there is proof that Iran is in possession of a nuclear weapon. Nevertheless, some experts believe that contrary to the appearance that the US and Israel are going their separate ways, a successful Israeli mission would require American assistance which, if revealed in detail, could prove embarrassing to Washington.
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