U.S., Israel Send Warning Signals to Iran

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Vice-President Joe Biden's suggestion Sunday that the U.S. would not stop Israel from a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities is the latest warning to the Iranian regime that Washington is prepared to take a tougher approach against Tehran.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Biden said, "Israel can determine for itself--a sovereign nation--what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran or anyone else."

Biden explained that while the Obama Administration had embarked on a diplomatic course with Iran, Israel is entitled to go another direction if it needs to, whether Washington agrees or not.  "If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different from the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that.  That is not our choice," he said.

The Vice-President's comments Sunday are very different from the ones he made three months ago.  When asked by CNN on April 7 about the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program, Biden warned, "I don't believe Prime Minister Netanyahu would do that.  I think he would be ill advised to do that."

While Israeli leaders generally welcomed Biden's change in tone, a key member of a defense committee in Iran's parliament, Alaeddin Brojerdi, responded with a warning that Iran would act in a "real and decisive" manner in the event of an Israeli attack.

Last week, an Israeli Dolphin submarine passed through the Suez Canal, a sign of growing cooperation between Israel and Egypt, and a signal to Iran that Israel may get assistance from Arab countries alarmed about the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Sources:  The Jerusalem Post, ABC News

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