Friday, May 25, 2018

U.S., Britain urge Israel not to attack Iran

JERUSALEM — The United States and Britain on Sunday urged Israel not to attack Iran's nuclear program as the White House's national security adviser arrived in the region, reflecting growing international jitters that the Israelis are poised to strike.

In their warnings, both the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said an Israeli attack on Iran would have grave consequences for the entire region and urged Israel to give international sanctions against Tehran more time to work.

Dempsey told CNN that an Israeli attack is "not prudent," and Hague said in an interview with the BBC that it would not be "a wise thing." It was not known whether their messages were coordinated.

Both Israel and the West believe Iran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb — a charge Tehran denies. But differences have emerged in how to respond to the perceived threat.

The United States and the European Union have both imposed harsh new sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector, the lifeline of the Iranian economy. With the sanctions just beginning to bite, they have expressed optimism that Iran can be persuaded to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Israel has welcomed the sanctions. But it has pointedly refused to rule out military action and in recent weeks sent signals that its patience is running thin.

Israel believes a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its very existence, citing Iran's support for Arab militant groups, its sophisticated arsenal of missiles capable of reaching Israel, and its leaders' calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Last week, Israel accused Iran of being behind a string of attempted attacks on Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia and Thailand.

There is precedent for Israeli action. In 1981, the Israeli air force destroyed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor. And in 2007, Israeli warplanes are believed to have destroyed a target that foreign experts think was an unfinished nuclear reactor in Syria.

Experts, however, have questioned how much an Israeli operation would accomplish.

There are also concerns Iran could fire missiles at Israel, get its local proxies Hezbollah and Hamas to launch rockets into the Jewish state, and cause global oil prices to spike by striking targets in the Persian Gulf.

The arrival in Israel of White House national security adviser Tom Donilon was the latest in a series of high-level meetings between Israel and the United States. Last month, Dempsey visited Israel, and next month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to visit the White House.

Donilon was set to meet with Netanyahu late Sunday, and with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak today before leaving.

Comments
Meet the guy who Rick Scott hired to get Florida through hurricane season

Meet the guy who Rick Scott hired to get Florida through hurricane season

If you judge Wes Maul by his online resume, his tenure at the state Division of Emergency Management has seen the full spectrum of natural and human disasters: hurricanes, mass shootings, public health emergencies. Tropical storms and infrastructure ...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Baseball: Pinellas-Hillsborough all-star game this weekend

Baseball: Pinellas-Hillsborough all-star game this weekend

The Pinellas vs. Hillsborough senior all-star game will be played on Sunday at 7 at Tropicana Field. Here are the rosters for each team:PinellasNathan Campbell (Boca Ciega); Derek Gray (Dunedin), Lucas Smith (Northeast), Michael Regan (CCC), Tanner B...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Alberto to dump rain on Cuba before turning north and drenching Tampa Bay

Alberto to dump rain on Cuba before turning north and drenching Tampa Bay

TAMPA— The first tropical system of the 2018 hurricane season has formed in the Caribbean and threatens to drench the Tampa Bay area with heavy rains and potential flooding over the Memorial Day weekend.As of 2 p.m., Subtropical Storm Alberto — which...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is appealing a recent citation by federal regulators. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit the utility with a $76,050 fine and a "serious" violation in April following its investigation into an accident in ...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Nelson challenges Scott to support anti-drilling legislation

Nelson challenges Scott to support anti-drilling legislation

WASHINGTON – Days after Gov. Rick Scott faulted Congress for failing to take up a proposal to permanently bar oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico., Sen. Bill Nelson is asking whether Scott at least supports extending a moratorium."If Ric...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Stroke stories can have a happy ending: What you should know

Stroke stories can have a happy ending: What you should know

Arto Woods and his wife, Syvilla, had a good flight from Baltimore to Tampa in early May. En route, they talked about how convenient it would have been to fly directly into Orlando, where the conference that brought them to Florida was being held, bu...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 29

Sacred Art Tour of the Tibetan Monks: Eight Dalai Lama-sanctioned monks from India are creating a sand mandala of the Green Tara, a female representation of the Buddha of Compassion. During opening ceremonies, the monks will chant, play long Tibetan ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Country comedy band performs at Dessert Theatre benefit

Country comedy band performs at Dessert Theatre benefit

The Sweeney "Family" Band, a musical comedy act that blends country, folk and gospel music with knee-slapping humor, will perform June 3 at the CARES Elfers Center, 4136 Barker Drive, New Port Richey. Doors open at 1 p.m., with the show starting at 2...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places, in a city brand-new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world: Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first expansion team to win a championship.And whi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: Students: Firearms in home should be locked away

The Latest: Students: Firearms in home should be locked away

Some students at the Texas high school where a gunman killed 10 people want laws requiring firearms to be locked away at home and accessible to only the owner
Updated: 1 hour ago