Bush scuttled secret Israeli plan for airstrikes on Iran's nuke facility: NYT

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New York, Jan 11 (ANI): Us President George W Bush revealed to the Israelis that he already had authorized a covert US effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear capabilities, according to unnamed American and foreign officials.

A secret Israeli plan for airstrikes on Iran's nuclear facility was scuttled last year when the United States rebuffed Israel in its request to fly through Iraqi airspace, the New York Times reported on a covert US programme.

The story cites unnamed American and foreign officials in reporting that President Bush also turned away an Israeli request for bunker-busting bombs for use in its planned attack on the Iranian nuclear complex.

The president then revealed to the Israelis that he already had authorized a covert U.S. effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear capabilities, the NYT reports.

The report notes that it wasn't clear whether Israel had decided to implement its plan of attack, but it backed off when the United States Protested.

The Bush administration was "particularly alarmed" by the Israeli request for access to Iraqi airspace.

Iran has been a regular target of the White House's ire throughout Bush's presidency, with Iranian President Mamoud Ahmadinejad's record of threatening rhetoric toward Israel and vows to proceed with its uranium enrichment program under the auspices of peaceful uses.

The report suggests that Bush is about to hand off to President-elect Obama a more advanced operation of counteracting Iran's nuclear capabilities than has yet been made public.

The report also says that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other top officials convinced Bush that an overt attack on Iran "would probably prove ineffective." (ANI)

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