(NEW YORK) — The White House is making extra efforts to discourage the Israelis from launching a preemptive strike against Iran to cripple its rogue nuclear program.
According to a story in The New York Times, the administration “is moving ahead with a range of steps short of war that it hopes will forestall an Israeli attack, while forcing the Iranians to take more seriously negotiations that are all but stalemated.”
These efforts include a mine-sweeping exercise in the Gulf involving the U.S. and over two dozen other nations intended to prevent Iran from blocking the Strait of Hormuz in order to keep oil flowing to the rest of the world.
The U.S. has also expanded its anti-missile coverage in the region with a new radar system in Qatar joining already existing installations in Israel and Turkey.
Even as Tehran moves ahead with its nuclear program, the White House believes these new strategies as well as current sanctions will force Iran to negotiate in better faith, thus forestalling an attack by Israel, which has the potential for further unsettling the region.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ivana Kottasova, CNN
Sugam Pokharel and AJ Willingham, CNN