US, Not Israel, Primary Target of Nuclear Iran

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- A fundamentally different worldview accounts for reports the United States wants the Israeli media to oppose a preemptive military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, a former Israeli ambassador said. 

The thinking is that Israel's military planning against Iran jeopardizes interests of many of the nations in the world, including the United States.

That worldview is preventing many from realizing the United States would be a nuclear-armed Iran's primary target.

Over the past few weeks, Israelis have been subject to a pervasive media blitz against a military strike on Iran. This week, a petition urging pilots to refuse orders for a strike against Iran received wide media coverage. 

"The prime minister would totally condemn any effort by all political groups, from the far left to the far right, urging Israeli soldiers to disobey orders," Mark Regev, the prime minister's spokesman, told CBN News.

But despite all the rhetoric, former Israeli ambassador to Washington, Yoram Ettinger, said the U.S. is in the crosshairs as much as Israel.

"It's a seemingly unbridgeable gap in worldviews between the Obama administration and Israel whereby the administration does not realize the U.S. and not Israel is the target for a nuclear Iran," the former ambassador told CBN News.

Ettinger was commenting on an article in Israel Hayom Wednesday alleging that "senior figures in the U.S. administration have been briefing local media outlets in recent weeks against a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities in an attempt to sway Israeli public opinion."

But Ettinger said Iran's goals go far beyond eliminating Israel. 

"Iran is not developing nuclear capabilities to eliminate Israel as a number one target, but rather to advance its historical vision of controlling the Persian Gulf," he explained.

"Concern over a preemptive attack would be dwarfed by non-preemption, which would reap regional and global havoc, enable Iran to become nuclear, and mean the demise of an American presence in the region."

A nuclear-armed Iran would cause a "meltdown" in neighboring Gulf States and strengthen ties between Iran and Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Mexico, which would bring the danger right to America's doorstep. 

"It would not only provide a tailwind to Islamic terrorism in general, but also to sleeper cells on the U.S. mainland," he said.

And, it would bolster and intensify nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and beyond.

Still, the pressure from Washington continues. According to the Israel Hayom report, a high-level Israeli security source quoted on the Walla! website called the media leaks "a blatant and extreme attempt to directly influence the debate in Israel."

The report further stated that remarks by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at Tuesday's press conference in Washington included information from closed-door meetings with Israel, which he said should not have been talked about "so publicly in the media."

"The attitude of the present U.S. administration is [based on] a faulty assumption that Iran is an Israeli [problem] rather than primarily and most importantly an American problem," Ettinger concluded.

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Tzippe Barrow

Tzippe Barrow

CBN News Internet Producer - Jerusalem

From her perch high atop the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Tzippe Barrow helps provide a bird’s eye view of events unfolding in her country.

She and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) several years ago. Barrow hopes that providing a biblical perspective of today’s events in Israel will help people in the nations to better understand the centrality of this state and the Jewish people to God’s unfolding plan of redemption for all mankind.