Text size

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, said on Sunday that U.S. forces should forcibly prevent the Israel Air Force from reaching Iran to strike its nuclear facilities.

In an interview with news Web site the Daily Beast, Brzezinski said that the U.S. forces were "not exactly impotent little babies," saying that Israel forces have "to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?"

When asked what should the United States do in case Israeli jets fly over Iraq anyway, the former national security advisor said the United States would "have to be serious about denying them that right."

"That means a denial where you aren't just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them," Brzezinski said, adding that Israeli fighters would then "have the choice of turning back or not."

Brzezinski added that "No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse," referring to the IDF attack on the U.S.S. Liberty during the Six Day War, which Israel claims was a case of mistaken identity.

The incident was investigated by inquiry commissions in both Israel and the United States, and both concluded that it had, indeed, been a tragic error.

Late last year, Brzezinski had told Haaretz that Israel could do harm to its relations with the United States if it insisted on lobbying Washington for an American military strike on Iran.

Brzezinski told Haaretz: "One [piece of] advice that I would give the Israeli government is not to engage in this campaign for an American attack on Iran, because I don't think America is going to attack Iran, and if it did, and the consequences would be disastrous."

On Sunday Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told CNN that Israeli President Shimon Peres told him that Israel would not launch an attack on Iran..

The Russian president described such an attack as "the worst thing that can be imagined." He said Peres made the comment at a meeting in the Russian resort of Sochi in August.

"When he visited me in Sochi, Israeli President Peres said something important for us all: 'Israel does not plan to launch any strikes on Iran, we are a peaceful country and we will not do this'," Medvedev said in the interview, which was recorded on Tuesday, according to a Kremlin transcript.