The top U.S. commander in the Middle East, General David Petraeus, warned today that Israel might attack Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, Bloomberg reports.
Army General David Petraeus told Congress that "the Israeli government may ultimately see itself so threatened by the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon that it would take preemptive military action to derail or delay it."
While Iran insists its nuclear program is intended for peaceful power generation, Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, said "Iranian officials have consistently failed to provide the assurances and transparency necessary for international acceptance and verification."
Iran refuses to suspend uranium enrichment, in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and won't give international inspectors full access to its nuclear facilities.
Petraeus' warning comes a day after Israel's new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, threatened to force Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program if the United States did not do so first.
In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons--and quickly--or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran's nuclear facilities itself.
Read more about Netanyahu's interview with the Atlantic here.