Rafsanjani: Israel needs US permission to hit Iran

Former Iranian president says Israel needs US to join war against Tehran, emphasizes "enemies'" primary strategy is sanctions.

October 9, 2012 10:22
2 minute read.
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi)

Israel requires the permission of the United States if it wants to carry out a strike on Iran, former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Monday according to Iranian media.

“Israel cannot attack Iran on its own," Rafsanjani said according to Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency. "If it attacks (Iran), it must be sure that the United States will join it, either at the beginning (of the war) or during (the war). Therefore, it needs the United States’ permission.”

Relations between Jerusalem and Washington have been strained recently amidst mounting pressure by Prime Minister Binyamin

Obama's Middle East policy came under heavy attack on Monday from US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who said the US president was
deliberately putting daylight between Israel and the US. “Iran today has never been closer to a nuclear weapons capability,” Romney said. “And it has never acted less deterred by America.”

Rafsanjani's comments also came at the heels of remarks by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, who on Monday dismissed the prospect of an Israeli strike on Iran in an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel. "If the Israelis had wanted to attack us, and if they could have done so, they would have done so long ago," he said.

Former chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Mohsen Rezaei also said Monday that Israel was not serious about military threats on Iran. "Of course the Zionists wouldn't dare invade Iran and only speak of war to win concessions from the next US president,” he said according to Iran's Press TV. He added that Israel would love at least 10,000 citizens in the event of an Israeli military strike on the Islamic Republic.

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