'US prepping facilities for Israel attack on Iran'

US defense officials concerned Israel will attack Iran over its nuclear program; Obama, US secretary of defense have warned Jerusalem of dangerous repercussions of strike, 'Wall Street Journal' reports.

January 14, 2012 10:49
1 minute read.
US embassy compound, Baghdad

US embassy compound in Baghdad Iraq_311. (photo credit: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

The United States has begun taking measures to plan for a possible Israeli strike on Iran in order to protect US facilities in the region, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The contingency planning comes as a result of concern within the US defense establishment that Israel is planning to attack Iran over the Islamic Republic's reported nuclear armament program, according to the newspaper.

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US President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and other senior US officials have reportedly delivered messages through private channels to the Israeli government warning them about the dangerous repercussions of a military strike on Iran.

Washington is concerned that Iraqi Shi'ite militias may attack the US embassy in Baghdad at Iran's behest. Some 15,000 US diplomats, federal employees and contractors remained Iraq after the last of its troops pulled out of the country late last year., the newspaper reported.

Tensions between Israel and the Islamic Republic spiked above normal this past week when an Iranian nuclear scientist was blown up in his car in Tehran in an attack that Iranian officials blame
d on Israel.

President Shimon Peres, speaking a number of days following the bombing, said that the attack was not carried out by Israel, to the best of his knowledge.

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had a phone conversation Thursday, discussing "recent Iran-related developments."

The following day, Netanyahu was quoted by The Australian as saying that new US sanctions on Iran were starting to bite.

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