European diplomatic sources told a British newspaper on Thursday that Israeli leaders had proposed a plan to attack Iran last spring, but were told by the Americans not to carry out the strike.
According to the sources, who spoke to London's The Guardian, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert presented the strike plans to US President George W. Bush when the two met in Washington in May.
Bush reportedly told Olmert that his administration would not back the strike, nor was that position expected to change before the end of Bush's second term in January 2009.
Israeli experts believe an Israeli strike can do enough damage to Iran's nuclear program to set it back at least several years, but recognize that Jerusalem would need Washington's backing in order to fend off the subsequent international condemnation.
Recent reports that the US denied Israel a flight corridor through Iraqi airspace indicated that the Bush Administration still opposes an Israeli strike on Iran, though it was later revealed that the sale of 1,000 US-made bunker buster bombs to the Jewish state had been approved.
Some Israeli officials have suggested that Israel may strike Iran during the period between the November 4 US presidential election and the next's president's inauguration in January.