US Senator favours Israel making its own decisions on attacking Iran

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Jerusalem, May 28 (ANI): An American Senator has said that Israel must be allowed to make its own decision on whether to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, even if it is taken as a "last resort".

Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, who has been a consistent backer of Israel and is a supporter of Obama - said, "Israel didn't ask us permission to drop bombs twice on Syrian nuclear facilities. I didn't hear America scolding Israel for what it did then. Hypothetically, if Israel were able to get rid of Iran's nuclear bomb-making capability, I'm sure that America would not send Israel a chastising e-mail message. We have to give Israel the courtesy of [allowing it to] make its own decisions."

He added that if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad failed in his bid for reelection on June 12, "we'll celebrate - unless there is someone worse in his place... Bombing Iranian nuclear facilities would be a desperate act for Israel. I'm certainly not promoting it. But all free countries are endangered. The battle has to be fought together. Obama is a leader, and he will do what is necessary."

The senator - one of 13 Jews (not all recognized as such according to Jewish law) in the 100-member Senate - said he disagreed with Obama's policy of linking US action against Iran with an Israeli limitation of settlement activity.

"I agree that each is a major problem deserving of attention, but one is not dependent on the other," he said.

The 85-year-old senator said he was sorry that Obama's image in Israel had been negative so far and that polls had shown that only 31 percent of Israelis considered the president's views pro-Israel.

Commenting on concerns in Israel that Obama would not take strong action against North Korea for its illegal nuclear testing this week, Lautenberg said that Obama "cannot shoot from the hip. With his strong standing, he will take action.

The senator met with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during his visit and held meetings in Jericho and Ramallah. (ANI)

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