by Peter Grady –
Following a report in an Israeli newspaper that the Obama administration had promised to provide Israel with high-tech weapons including bunker-busting bombs and refueling planes if Israel agreed to hold off bombing Iran after the presidential election, the White House issued a carefully worded denial saying no such deal was discussed in high level talks.
A front-page article in the Israeli newspaper, “Ma’ariv,” citing unnamed sources said Obama had told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that in return for assurances Israel would not attack Iran before the 2012 election, and the administration would provide the country with upgraded military equipment.
There has been talk for months over whether Israel will conduct a preemptive strike to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon similar to action they took in 1980 against an Iraqi nuclear facility. Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
Following the article’s publication, the White House issued a carefully worded denial saying that President Obama did not personally offer the high-tech weaponry to Netanyahu.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “In the meetings the President had, there was no such agreement proposed or reached,” however, he did not rule out the possibility that the conversation could have taken place in lower-level talks with the Israelis.
Democratic presidential candidate Randall Terry said, “If the reports are true — that the U.S. is offering hi-tech weaponry to Israel in exchange for their commitment not to attack Iran until after the U.S. election — then Obama is putting Israeli and US security behind his re-election campaign. Such a trade would border on treasonous.”
President Obama has claimed that he is committed to Israel’s security and stated that he would not hesitate to attack Iran himself to keep them from getting a nuclear bomb. “I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests,” Obama said.
Obama has criticized candidates who challenge his policies on Iran saying “they’re not commander-in-chief” and they are engaging in “loose talk of war.” He also said the talk about military action against Iran by the republican candidates is the reason for high gas prices in America.
“The biggest driver of these high gas prices is speculation about possible war in the Middle East, which is why we’ve been trying to reduce some of the loose talk about war there,” Obama told WFTV, an ABC affiliate out of Orlando, Florida.