A leading American newspaper cited a classified US war simulation report that said an Israeli attack on Iran would spark a broader regional war involving the United States.
The New York Times report said Tuesday the simulation was not considered a rehearsal but does underline potential risks from such an attack.
“The results of the war game were particularly troubling to General James Mattis, who commands all American forces in the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia,” the report said, citing unnamed officials familiar with the assessment.
“When the exercise had concluded earlier this month, according to the officials, General Mattis told aides that an Israeli first strike would be likely to have dire consequences across the region and for United States forces there,” it added.
Dubbed as ‘Internal Look’, the two-week simulation revealed a series of potential threats in which “the United States found it was pulled into the conflict” after Iranian missiles struck a US Navy warship in the Gulf, killing about 200 Americans, officials privy to knowledge of the exercise said on condition of anonymity.
The assessment indicated US forces would retaliate by attacking Iranian nuclear facilities, the NYT report added.
Israel and the United States, its biggest ally in the world, is piling up pressure on Iran through economic sanctions and issuing threatening possible military action against its nuclear facilities.
Tehran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and has rejected Western sanctions. Iranian claims have been somehow vindicated in a November report by the International Atomic Energy Agency which said it has no proof to declare the Islamic Republic’s nuclear research is headed towards designing nuclear weapons.