The US would have to support Israel and join in if Jerusalem were to take military action against Iran’s nuclear program, the Hebrew daily Maariv quoted diplomatic sources saying on Monday.

According to the report, Washington would also provide Israel with an air defense “umbrella” against the anticipated retaliation by Tehran and its proxies — notably Hezbollah — in the event of a strike. There is no indication from the report that the US would engage in offensive military action against Iran.

Messages passed from Republican and Democrat policy makers in Washington to Israeli counterparts suggest that should Israel decide to bomb Iran in advance of the US presidential elections in November, President Barack Obama would order the American armed forces to join in the military effort, the paper said.

Such an intervention, the sources explained, would all but guarantee Obama a second term in office. If he chose not to act, the president would likely be handing the office over to the Republicans, they said.

Advisers close to Republican candidate Mitt Romney and Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren were among those who passed the messages between Washington and Jerusalem, Maariv claimed. The Israeli embassy in Washington declined to respond to the report.

Obama is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly in September, in a meeting that could determine whether Israel would go it alone against Iran.