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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pentagon warns of Israeli attack on Iran

The Pentagon is warning that Israel may attack Iran before the end of 2008 according to a report on the ABC News web site.
A senior defense official told ABC News there is an "increasing likelihood" that Israel will carry out such an attack, a move that likely would prompt Iranian retaliation against, not just Israel, but against the United States as well.

The official identified two "red lines" that could trigger an Israeli offensive. The first is tied to when Iran's Natanz nuclear facility produces enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon. According to the latest U.S. and Israeli intelligence assessments, that is likely to happen sometime in 2009, and could happen by the end of this year.

"The red line is not when they get to that point, but before they get to that point," the official said. "We are in the window of vulnerability."

The second red line is connected to when Iran acquires the SA-20 air defense system it is buying from Russia. The Israelis may want to strike before that system -- which would make an attack much more difficult -- is put in place.

Some Pentagon officials also worry that Israel may be determined to attack before a new U.S. president, who may be less supportive, is sworn in next January.
Well, duh! Do they think we're going to sit around waiting to be attacked while they deliberate over 'sanctions' that aren't strong enough to have an effect and which will be violated with impunity by the Russians, the Chinese and the Europeans? If this bothers them so much, let them pressure their 'allies' to do something about it. Instead, we see the Russians continuing to supply the Iranians with nuclear fuel and pretending it's for peaceful purposes, we see the Europeans and the Chinese continuing to do business with Iran, and for that matter, we see corporate America continuing to do business with Iran. Let's go to the videotape:


JPost is carrying a report that an unnamed 'Western diplomat' says that he does not think Israel will 'feel the need' to attack Iran before year's end (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
The Western official said that the US was not taking the military option off the table, but stressed the need for economic and diplomatic sanctions, and getting the Europeans to implement further sanctions. He said he expected France to play a more active role on the issue after assuming EU presidency.

The official also said there was a six to 12-month discrepancy between when Israel and the US believed Iran would reach the point of no return, and that Israel believed the date would be sooner rather than later.
I don't buy this report. The sanctions have nothing to do with the air defense system since no one has discussed stopping Russia from providing it and Russia is not a member of the EU. It's also Russia that is providing Iran with nuclear fuel. Unless someone gets Russia on board - solidly - I don't believe Israel is going to hold off.

Besides, this 'Western diplomat' is way too anonymous a source to be credible. We don't know what country he's from and we have no clue what his qualifications might be to speak to the issue. The Pentagon source seems far more reliable to me.

I believe that Israel has put the US and everyone else with their backs to the wall saying, "If you don't care of it, we will. We can't wait until Iran passes the point of no return."


At 11:57 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

In the 1930s, Jews were forced to stand aside helplessly in the face of the gathering storm, only to witness their people slaughtered in the killing fields of Europe. Today it is different - and if the words "never again" have any meaning - Israel will do whatever is necessary to thwart Iran's objective. If the rest of the world was serious Israel would not not need to act but no nation will save the Jews. It up to Israel to assume the burden of assuring her own survival.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Findalis said...

McCain had it right:

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb
Bomb, Bomb Iran!

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Christopher Feld said...

An Israeli Attack on Iran Benefits the Islamic Republic. As Israel contemplates militarily striking Iran to prevent it from acquiring
nuclear weapons, Israel empowers the resolve of the Islamic Republic of Iran's hardliners to achieve greater security while harming United States strategic interests, Israeli security interests, Iranian dissident interests, and world economic interests. Last Monday's WSJ Editorial charges that Israel has, "no choice but to defend themselves," against the Iranian threat.

Yet even if Iran's nuclear sites were bombed, virtually nothing could prevent the regime from rebuilding its nuclear sites. Bombing Iran would only further exacerbate and reinforce the belligerence of the fundamentalist regime, alienate pro-America Iranians, radicalize moderate support behind the unpopular regime, provide a pretext for the regime to crack down on human rights, and undermine the democratic movement in Iran.

A report released by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), considered a major proponent of the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S., "does not advocate military action against Iran's nuclear program. The time is not right for such a decision." Instead the report considers an attack on Iran's oil infrastructure, which accounts for 80% of its export revenue, far more noteworthy.

On Thursday in the Asia Times, national and international security affairs analyst David Isenberg contends that the political shock from losing oil income would force the regime to rethink its nuclear aspirations. Conversely, he points out that an attack on Iran's oil infrastructure may force oil prices to skyrocket which would hurt consumers worldwide. News of Israel's military exercise earlier this month caused the price of U.S. July crude to rise by US$2.69 and settle at US$134.62 a barrel and is still gaining momentum from tensions.

An attack on Iran's nuclear sites alone may cause crude oil to reach US$200 a barrel or more. A recent Washington Post article interviewed PFC Energy analyst Mr. J. Robinson West who predicted, "A raid on Iran would convulse the markets. The price would go into uncharted territory. Pick a number." The Post argues that the staggering cost of oil may dissuade U.S. military action or hamper the administration's blessing of an Israeli attack.

An Israeli attack on Iran's oil exporting infrastructure may lead to protracted war that would undoubtedly affect crude prices. Any temporary closure of the Strait of Hormuz, which ships nearly 40 per cent of the world's oil, would force oil importing nations to rely upon oil exporting countries to make up for lost output. Inevitably, the regime will retaliate against an Israeli attack and possibly against American interests in the region with powerful long range missiles.

A state of mutually assured destruction is more than likely to develop between Israel and Iran due to the spread of technology. Consequently, Israel must reassess its long term security strategy with Iran and view the nature of Iran's regime as its primary existential threat. Otherwise, only the Islamic republic stands to win.

For more information, visit http://usiranalliance.org

At 1:45 AM, Blogger Christopher Feld said...

What makes you think they would strike Israel? They may be fundamentalists but they aren't suicide bombers nor are Iran's leaders irrational. Despite their insidious comments towards Israel, the only thing they want more than successful uranium enrichment is the preservation and continuation of their rule. They will do nothing to jeopardize their existence and authority. Iran wants a bid as a regional power. Yet Israel does not want to cede its power due to legitimate security concerns (Hamas and Hezbollah) nor does it want to lose regional power as the lone "undeclared" nuclear power in the region.If Iran wants a seat as regional player, it will need to quit alienating the U.S. and Israel with continued bellicose statements that draw attention away from the most important issues. The existential threat of a nuclear armed Iran needs to be retired as it hinders any constructive debate towards Iran beyond he nuclear issue.



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