June 8, 2009
Hillary Clinton refused yesterday to rule out a pre-emptive Israeli military strike on Iran. It was the first time that a senior member of the Obama Administration had openly discussed such a possibility.
[efoods]The US Secretary Of State, speaking a few days before elections in Iran that will determine the fate of President Ahmadinejad, also warned that the country would face retaliation if it launched a nuclear attack on Israel.
As President Obama extends “an open hand”, seeking direct talks with Tehran in his attempt to halt its nuclear programme, Mrs Clinton appeared ready to unnerve the Iranian leadership with talk of a pre-emptive strike “the way that we did attack Iraq”. She said that she was trying to put herself in the shoes of the Iranian leadership, but added that Tehran “might have some other enemies that would do that [deliver a pre-emptive strike] to them”. It was a clear reference to Israel, where Binyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, has talked about the possibility of military action to halt Iran’s nuclear programme — something he views as a threat to the Jewish state.