“I’m sure that these back-channel conversations are taking place. It is odd to have such a high-stakes game being played out in the open,” said Ros-Lehtinen to Fox News.
The Cuban-American congresswoman says she doesn’t think that Israel wouldn’t consult with the U.S. ahead of a potential pre-emptive strike against Iran.
“Hogwash on all of that,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “A lot of communication is taking place. Israel is our steadfast ally.”
The Congresswoman also said that U.S. will support Israel no matter what happens.
“Like it or not, if Israel takes this action, the United States will help and we’ll help Israel,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “If the worst takes place, the scenario would be Israel taking unilateral action against Iran. If that happens, we’ve got to protect Israel. We don’t want it to come to that.”
Yesterday the Associated Press reported that Israeli officials said they wouldn’t warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. They cited an unnamed U.S. intelligence official.
Ros-Lehtinen expressed her belief that Israel and the U.S. were communicating on the issue but through private and closed channels.
She went on to say the U.S. had done all it could do to rein in the country of Iran, which has pledged death to Israel and is working toward making a nuclear weapon.
“I don’t see that the United States has not been doing all that we can do to tighten the noose around Iranian leaders,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “So Israel is saying if the international community is not going to be united and the United States is not doing it all that it can, then we in Israel will attempt to get rid of this problem.”
The congresswoman also said she had “full-faith” in the Obama administration’s relationship with Israel but asserted that it was time that the U.S. try to prevent trouble in the Middle East.
“I will simply save the leader to leader and defense minister to defense minister conversations for those participants,” said Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary. “Our cooperation with the Israeli government is full and engaged at every level.”