The Sept. 8 editorial “The U.S.-Israeli gap on Iran” recommended that President Obama threaten military action if Iran’s nuclear program crosses a red line. Such a policy statement by the United States might, as the editorial suggested, persuade Iran to compromise. But it might also embolden Israel to launch a preemptive strike, because such action then would have implicit U.S. backing. If that were to happen, the United States might find itself dragged into a clash that might conflict with its interests.
Moreover, the editorial did not mention that we are in the midst of a national election campaign, though surely this has not been overlooked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. By his suggestions or requests that Mr. Obama issue a red-line policy statement in the middle of the campaign, he has effectively inserted himself into the campaign.