Israeli attack on Iran could pull US into new war

ROBERT BURNS AP National Security Writer Published:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- If Israeli were to make a pre-emptive attack on Iran's nuclear sites, it could draw the U.S. into a new Mideast conflict.

That's a prospect dreaded by a war-weary Pentagon because it could mean pressing into service the top tier of American firepower -- warplanes, warships and special operations forces.

The outcome would be unpredictable in one of the world's most volatile regions.

An armed clash with Iran is far from certain. Diplomacy backed by increasingly tough economic penalties is still seen by many as worth pursuing.

But Israel worries that Iran soon could reach a point where enough of its nuclear materials are beyond the reach of Israeli air power and Tehran could not be stopped -- or perhaps could be stopped only by America's superior firepower.