U.S. aides to Israel: The military option for Iran is still on the table

“When the president said all options are on the table, let me reassure you that those options are real and viable,” said Michèle A. Flournoy, a former under secretary of defense, speaking at a security conference in Tel Aviv last week. Referring to the Pentagon’s planning for a possible military strike, she said, “Having sat in the Pentagon and spent a lot of my time on this issue, I can assure you of the quality of that work.”

David S. Cohen, a Treasury Department under secretary who oversees financial sanctions, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that if the next round of nuclear talks, in Moscow on June 18, break down, “there is no question we will continue to ratchet up the pressure.” Israel and the United States, he said, are considering unspecified new measures that would build on the oil sanctions set to take effect at the beginning of next month…

“Here’s the rub,” Ms. Flournoy said at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. “If Israel or any other country were to launch a unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear program prematurely, before all other options to stop Iran have been tried and failed, it would undermine the legitimacy of the action.”

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