Israeli army preparing in case US strikes Iran during last of Trump's term: Axios news site

Israeli officials are concerned they might not have enough time to fully prepare. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Israel's government instructed the military to prepare for a possible US strike against Iran during the remainder of President Donald Trump's term, American news website Axios reported, citing unidentified Israeli officials.

The instructions were given because officials anticipate "a very sensitive period" prior to the Jan 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, and not because of any intelligence or assessment that the United States will order an attack, the report said.

While Israeli officials said they expect their government would get prior notice of any such assault, they are concerned that might not give them enough time to fully prepare, Axios said.

The Israeli government and military declined to comment when approached by Bloomberg.

The New York Times reported earlier this month that Mr Trump asked his top aides whether he could take action against Iran's main nuclear site. According to the report, senior advisers including Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Vice-President Mike Pence dissuaded him, but he might still be looking at ways to strike Iranian assets and allies.

Mr Pompeo recently visited Israel and Saudi Arabia, both foes of Iran, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reported to have secretly travelled to the kingdom on Sunday while the US official was there.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran was on the agenda but no agreements were reached.

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