This morning, the US Ambassador to Israel announced that the US Military is prepared to strike Iran if necessary and has made all the necessary preparations.

Dan Shapiro, the current US Ambassador to Israel, made the announcement on Israel’s Army Radio (Galei Tzahal) station.  In the announcement, Shapiro said he the US prefers a diplomatic resolution to the current situation, but is ready to act.  He also said that the planning for a military strike has been in place for several months, is ready to be implemented and only needs the approval of the president.

This announcement made this morning follows and earlier announcement in January in which Shapiro made a similar statement to an Israeli newspaper “guaranteeing the military option”.  It also comes just before Iran is to restart negotiations with the US and other nations over its nuclear program later this month on May 23 in Baghdad.  Negotiations were held earlier this year in Istanbul in April and were positive enough to warrant further negotiations.  A meeting was also held earlier this week in Vienna by the UN Atomic Agency regarding the Iranian program to determine if there is cause for concern regarding weapons.

Recently, Israel has come under fire for statements regarding its willingness to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities because of the concern that Iran will use the energy to power a weapon to be used against it.  The US recently passed legislation effectively outlawing Iranian banks from operating in the US and is likely to pass another law in the near future declaring business with Iran to be illegal.  Most of the major European powers in the West together with the US have been attempting to convince the Iranian to cease its program via sanctions, which to date have also been unsuccessful.

Iran responded to the statement with Supreme National Security Secretary Saeed Jalili saying that the talks must be cooperative and must allow Iran its “inalienable rights” to nuclear energy.  Iran also said that although it has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it can still use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.  Israel has not responded to the statement at this time.