TEHERAN, Iran - Senior Iranian officials are recommending a preemptive strike against Israel, one member of the group told foreign diplomats in London two weeks ago.
Dr. Seyed G. Safavi, head of the Research Institute of Strategic Studies in Teheran, which is directly affiliated with the Islamic Republic's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and with the Revolutionary Guards, said Israeli talk of an attack on its nuclear facilities has strengthened the group's position vis-à-vis a preemptive strike.
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Safavi's influence on Iran's foreign policy, especially related to security matters, is significant.
Safavi and his brother Yahya Rahim Safavi, who stepped down as head of the Revolutionary Guards a year ago, both serve as Khamenei's personal advisors.
During the meeting in London two weeks ago, Safavi briefed foreign diplomats on U.N. Security Council sanctions, the uranium enrichment program, the economic forecast, the U.S. elections, and Iran's June 2009 presidential elections.
The meeting's primary focus, however, was the call for a preemptive strike against Israel.
"The recent Israeli declarations and harsh rhetoric on a strike against Iran put ammunition in these individuals' hands," Safavi said.
According to Safavi, Iran would like to see Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama win the election because he is open to dialogue with them.
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