Visiting US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon would try to persuade Israel not to target Iran’s nuclear plants in a military strike, an Israeli newspaper reported Sunday, February 19.
The Yediot Ahronot said Donilon is expected to ask Israeli officials to give the diplomatic sanctions that have been imposed on the country suspected of building a nuclear weapon more time. No source was quoted in the report. Other media meanwhile reported that his two-day visit was aimed at coordinating the diplomatic sanctions against Iran.
US embassy spokesman in Tel Aviv, Kurt Hoyer, confirmed the visit but refused details, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, also declined to comment.
In an earlier statement, the White House said Donilon and Israeli officials would discuss the Iran, Syria and other regional security issues. It said US National Intelligence Director James Clapper was also due in Israel this week. The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey warns in an interview with CNN scheduled to be broadcast Sunday that an Israeli attack on Iran would be “destabilizing,” at this point “not prudent” and would not achieve Israel’s “long-term objectives.”
Israel has repeatedly said that, although the phase of diplomatic sanctions has not ended, “all options are on the table,” including the military one. It has called for still tighter sanctions against Iran, to convince it to abandon its nuclear program, M&C reported, citing DPA.