Twice in recent years Israel has been ready to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, only to be dissuaded by strong U.S. pressure. But unless there’s a regime change in Iran soon, war will come. This is no state secret. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reportedly told NATO ministers that he thought an attack would come within months. Inside the Pentagon Panetta has allegedly been warning officers that he thinks the Israelis will strike between June and August.
The Israelis fear Iran will soon enter what they call a “zone of immunity,” whereby the bulk of its critical nuclear assets will be buried so far underground that neither Israel nor the U.S. will be able to stop Tehran’s nuclear efforts from the air.
The Israelis have no faith that sanctions will deter Iran from its nuclear ambitions, even though its economy is indeed being hard hit by them. Fanatics that they are, the ayatollahs will see the economic crisis as an even greater incentive to develop their own bomb to help shore up their highly unpopular regime. After all, it’s worked for North Korea. Even more, these extremists think the bomb will make Iran a major power to reckon with, given all that oil in the Middle East.
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