A mysterious Israeli military strike on a suspected nuclear site in Syria last month was opposed by Condoleezza Rice, the American secretary of state, because she feared it would destabilise the region, according to a report this weekend.
Rice persuaded the Israelis to delay their operation, but not to call it off, after US officials were presented with "jaw-dropping" evidence of Syrian nuclear activity, the report said.
The Sunday Times revealed two weeks ago that Israeli commandos had seized samples of nuclear material, said to be of North Korean origin, during a daring raid on a Syrian military facility to prove to the Americans that an air attack was essential.
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