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Planned Israeli Attacks On Iranian Nuclear Sites Said Blocked

Israel's Channel 2 TV reported August 21 that a plan for Israel to strike Iranian nuclear facilities was blocked on three separate occasions in recent years.

In an audio recording of former defense minister Ehud Barak obtained by the TV station, Barak said that he drew up the attack plans against Iran, and they were approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He said Israeli army chief Gabi Ashkenazi blocked one planned attack in 2010, by refusing to certify that the army was prepared to carry out the attack.

A second attack was aborted when hawkish Israeli ministers Moshe Ya'alon and Yuval Steinitz withdrew support, he said, while in 2012, Israel decided the timing was bad for an attack because of a U.S.-Israel military exercise.

The TV station said Barak tried to prevent broadcast of the bombshell revelations, but Israel's military censor allowed it.Ya'alon and Steinitz issued a statement expressing bewilderment at the military's decision to permit the broadcast.

The report comes as Israel has been strenuously lobbying against a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that aims to curb Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions' relief.

Based on reporting by AP and Jerusalem Post