Israel Gave U.S. Two-hour Notice on Iran Attack. CIA ‘Demanded Answers’

New York Times reports that the attack at Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility – for which Israel never took responsibility – reflected Netanyahu’s distrust of the Biden administration

Aug. 26, 2021
photo Credit: Planet Labs Inc. / AP

Israel gave the United States less than two hours’ warning of its plans to attack Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility in April, reflecting then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy of keeping the Biden administration in the dark over Israeli actions in Iran, The New York Times reported Thursday citing American and Israeli sources.

Netanyahu reportedly adopted the policy because he distrusted the new administration of President Joe Biden, which had chosen to reverse Donald Trump’s policy and begin talks with Tehran about America’s reentering the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.

White House sources told The Times that Israel had at least in spirit violated an unwritten policy of many years’ standing to consult with the United States about operations like the one at Natanz and to enable Washington to express its opposition. The short notice Netanyahu gave before the Natanz operation deprived U.S. intelligence agencies of sufficient time to respond. Days after the attack, Washington said it had taken no part in the operation.

Israeli sources said they concealed information from their American colleagues because there had been leaks regarding earlier operations, a charge that American officials denied. Other sources in Jerusalem said the Biden administration had not been attentive to Israeli concerns over Iran and were too focused on reviving the nuclear deal.

Washington sources asserted that when Biden entered the White House, Netanyahu had reverted to his attitude toward the former administration of Barack Obama, whom he resented for signing an Iran nuclear accord that the Israeli prime minister resolutely opposed.

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