Report: Bush rejected Israeli request to attack Iran
US President George Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action meant to sabotage Tehran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials, cited by the New York Times.
According to the report, during 2008, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asked President Bush for bunker-busting bombs and permission to fly over Iraq to attack the plant. The Bush administration was particularly alarmed by the Israeli request to fly over Iraq to reach Iran’s major nuclear complex at Natanz.
The White House rejected that request outright, American officials said, and the Israelis backed off their plans, at least temporarily, the report added. But the exchanges also prompted the White House to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
The covert American program, launched in early 2008, includes renewed American efforts to penetrate Iran’s nuclear supply chain abroad, along with new efforts, some of them experimental, to undermine electrical systems, computer systems and other networks on which Iran relies. It is aimed at delaying the day that Iran can produce the weapons-grade fuel and designs it needs to produce a workable nuclear weapon.