Contingency plan? US security officials are concerned that Israel is preparing for a military strike in Iran despite Washington's warnings, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
A former White House official quoted by the paper noted that despite the close relationship with Jerusalem, "It's hard to know what's bluster and what's not with the Israelis."
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In recent months, the Obama administration has been in close contact with Jerusalem officials in an effort to dissuade them from pursuing a covert action against Iran's nuclear program, but at the same time have started working on a contingency plan in case their efforts fall on deaf ears, the report claimed.
"The US military is preparing for a number of possible responses to an Israeli strike, including assaults by pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq against the US Embassy in Baghdad," the paper quoted a US official as saying.
According to the report, Washington has moved a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf area and has stationed 15,000 troops in Kuwait as means to create deterrence in the region.
It addition, officials told the paper that the US military also pre-positioning aircraft and other military equipment in the region, and have transferred arms and equipment to Gulf states including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
'Giving sanctions time to work'
On Thursday, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone about "recent developments" in the Iranian front.
A senior Obama administration official said that "recent comments by the Israelis show they understand how tough the sanctions we've put in place are and are giving them time to work," the report said.
The conversation was held on the heels of US attempts to exacerbate sanctions against the Islamic Republic despite the persistent resistance of China, Russia and even Turkey, which are reluctant to mount more pressure on Tehran.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that harsh international economic sanctions against Iran have started to have an effect.
In an interview with "The Australian" newspaper, Netanyahu said: "For the first time, I see Iran wobble… under the sanctions that have been adopted and especially under the threat of strong sanctions on their central bank."
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