Friday, May 18, 2012

Israel Ready To Attack Iran? "Israeli Elite Locks Down" - Reuters

Fordow Nuclear Facility - Note Tunnel Entrances Underground
The Reuters news service came out with a very interesting article noting that top of Israeli officials have recently refrained from public warnings or threats about a possible Israeli attack on Iran.  Whereas the top Israeli leadership used to frequently note that an Iranian nuclear capability would be unacceptable, lately the talk about a possible Israeli attack on Iran has been toned down significantly.  The Reuters article notes the silence by Israeli leadership on this issue:
"The top of the government has gone into lockdown," one official said. "Nobody is saying anything publicly. That in itself tells you a lot about where things stand."
The Israelis are of the opinion that once the key components of the nuclear program are buried underground - especially in the Fordow complex - that it will be too late to prevent Iran from going nuclear as the Iranian nuclear program would be immune to attack.  As I discussed in this previous post, the Americans are convinced that their improved intelligence capabilities will give them plenty of time to observe Iran moving decisively to go nuclear, giving the Americans enough time to strike.  The Israelis, however, believe that the threat of a nuclear Iran is so great that they cannot risk trusting the issue solely to American intelligence.

What does this all mean?  I would note that when Israel has felt threatened in the past, it has not hesitated to act alone without informing the Americans or anyone else of their plans in advance.  Two notable examples of this were their preemptive strike in the 1967 Six Day War, as well as the surprise attack in 1981 that destroyed Iraq's nuclear program.  I am still not sure if Israel will strike Iran or not, but I am certain that if they do, they will not tell the Americans in advance.  For those interested, the entire Reuters article is here.

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