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U.S. to Approve an Israeli Attack on Iran?

Samara Greenberg

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), along with 46 Congressmen co-sponsors, sponsored House Resolution 1553 Friday, calling for the U.S. to use all tools available to persuade Iran to stop building a nuclear weapon; pledging continued U.S. military support to Israel; and supporting Israel’s right to use all means necessary “including the use of military force” to “defend Israeli sovereignty, and protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people” from Iranian agression. The resolution was then referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Although the majority of introduced bills and resolutions never make it out of committee, H.R. 1553 is the first resolution to support Israel’s use of military force against Iran. Indeed, all previous proposals stopped short of supporting military action. For example, House Resolution 557, which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs in June 2009, supported “the State of Israel’s inalienable right to defend itself in the face of an imminent nuclear or military threat from Iran…”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inspects the Natanz nuclear plant in Iran.

But Congressman Gohmert and his backers may be on to something here. A July poll conducted by TIPP, the polling unit of U.S. research firm TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, found that 56 percent of Americans approve a military strike against Iran and a mere 30 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, a separate Pew Research poll released in June displayed similar results, with 66 percent of Americans preferring a strike and 24 percent objecting to it. According to the poll, a majority of people in 16 of the 22 countries polled prefer a military strike over tolerating a nuclear Iran. Turkey was the only Middle Eastern country polled that did not prefer a military option.

With a clear majority of Americans, and many in the international community, approving a military strike on Iran if necessary, the United States has more leverage in dealing with the Islamic Republic than President Obama appears to be using. Now, as Russia defies U.S. and EU sanctions against Iran’s oil and gas sectors by announcing it will supply Tehran with fuel if needed, there is reason to believe sanctions against Iran will fail to induce their intended consequences. That the U.S. seemingly has room to maneuver with Iran is positive news. The only question that remains is: will the Obama administration seize this opportunity before it’s too late?