U.S.-Israel Talks on Iran 'Legitimize War'

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Officials in the United States and Israel continued to weigh an attack against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Senior officials from both countries have held talks on Iran, Syria, and the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror organization in Washington and Israel since early June.

"There is a lot of strategic thinking concerning Iran going on right now, but no one has yet made a decision on what to do," a senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer involved in the talks said this week.

"We are still far away from the point that military officers are pouring over maps together planning an operation," he said.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's visit to Washington this week follows IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-General Gabi Ashkenazi's visit to the US capital last week.

In June, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, inspected IDF troops in Israel. The continued visits are raising speculation that war with Iran is possible in the near future.

Both Mullen and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have stated that the US is not in favor of going to war with Iran.

Gates called the move, "disastrous on all levels" in a recent article to Army War College students.

Nonetheless, Israeli officials view US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's Geneva visit with Iranian officials last week as a ploy to garner international support should the US go to war with Iran and thus legitimize an attack by Israel.

"This way they will be able to say they tried everything," one Israeli official surmised.

"This increases America's chances of gaining more public support domestically, as well as the support of European nations, which are today opposed to military action," he said.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz

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