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PRESS RELEASE


Obama and McCain Advisors Endorse U.S.-Israeli Discussion of Strike on Iran

July 1, 2008 (EIRNS)—Top advisors to Barack Obama's presidential campaign have joined with advisors to John McCain and the Likudnik Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), to issue a call for the next U.S. President to enter into discussions with Israel about means to deal with Iran's nuclear program, including "preventive military action."

This report, issued in mid-June, shows that candidate Obama's hawkish speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC) on June 4 was no aberation.

WINEP's "Presidential Task Force on the Future of U.S.-Israel Relations" held meetings during 2007 and early 2008, including a two-day, closed-door meeting with "ten Israeli counterparts," at the Landsdowne Conference Center near Leesburg, Virginia. Members of the Task Force include Obama advisors Anthony Lake, Susan Rice, and Richard Clarke, and McCain advisors Vin Weber and James Woolsey.

Entitled "Strengthening the Partnership: How to Deepen U.S.-Israel Cooperation on the Iranian Nuclear Challenge," the report maintains that the issue of Iran's development of a nuclear-weapon takes priority over all other items on the U.S.-Israeli agenda, including Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. It claims, darkly, that the issuance of the National Intelligence Estimate last fall on Iran's nuclear capability may have increased the possibility of Israel taking unilateral military action against Iran's nuclear program.

The Task Force calls for the U.S. President and the Israeli Prime Minister to initiate a new, high-level dialogue to consider the range of policy options regarding Iran, to include (1) diplomatic action, (2) political and economic pressure, (3) "coercive options (such as an embargo on Iran's sale of oil or refined petroleum products)" and (4) "preventive military action."

This report was issued simultaneously with another WINEP report called "The Last Resort: Consequences of Preventive Military Action against Iran," which is a detailed discussion of a contemplated military strike against Iran. That report was not endorsed by campaign advisors or anyone besides its authors, but it is obvious that the two reports constitute a package, and that endorsement of the one is an implicit endorsement of the other.