Administration denies Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli warplanes

Administration denies Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli warplanes

President Obama threatened last year to use the U.S. military to shoot down Israeli fighter jets if they attempted to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, according to Middle Eastern news outlets Sunday — reports the administration denounced later that day as flatly untrue.

Mr. Obama’s threat reportedly deterred Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from dispatching warplanes into Iran after Israel discovered that the U.S. had entered into secret talks with Tehran and that the two countries had signed an agreement, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida.

In a statement to The Washington Times early Sunday evening, a senior administration said “that report is totally false.”

Al-Jarida also reported Sunday that “well placed” sources confirmed an unnamed Israeli minister disclosed the plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, and that Mr. Obama replied by warning that he would foil the plan by shooting down Israeli jets before they could reach their target destinations.

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