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israel attacking iran?

topic posted Sat, February 25, 2012 - 11:52 AM by  Gerbil
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www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...61.html
WASHINGTON -- A military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities is "not prudent" at the present moment, America's top military official, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, told "CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS" in an interview set to air Sunday morning.

“It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,” said Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the interview.

"I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us," Dempsey added, according to early reports of the interview, noting that he sensed that increased sanctions were beginning to have an effect.

Dempsey's remarks come amid a rising tide of threats and speculation -- some of it media driven -- about the possibility that Israel might launch a military strike against Iran in an attempt to forestall that country's development of a nuclear weapon.

American intelligence assessments say that Iran would have the capability to build a nuclear bomb in the coming years, but it has not yet decided whether to do so.

In recent days, both Israel and Iran appear to have taken a number of steps escalating the tensions, including Iran's recent unveiling of the first domestically produced nuclear fuel rods and its decision over this weekend to move warships into the Mediterranean Sea for only the second time since 1979.

Israelis seem increasingly poised to take military action sooner rather than later, according to both Israeli and American officials, although some have indicated that the Israelis may be willing to let tough sanctions work a bit longer.

In the war of words, American officials have repeatedly signaled that they do not believe military action is in anybody's best interests at this point, something Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sought to drive home in several appearances on Capitol Hill over the last several days, while also trying to tamp down the rhetoric coming from Israel.

Dempsey reinforced this point during his interview on CNN.

“A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” Dempsey said about the Israelis, according to Bloomberg. “I wouldn’t suggest, sitting here today, that we’ve persuaded them that our view is the correct view and that they are acting in an ill-advised fashion."

Dempsey also threw cold water on some of the more aggressive plans to intervene militarily in the crisis in Syria, where opposition forces have been carrying out an increasingly bloody revolt against the regime of President Bashar Assad.

"Syria is a very different challenge" from Libya, where American-led NATO forces recently helped end the reign of dictator Muammar Gadhafi, Dempsey added. "It's a different challenge, as you described it, geographically. It's a different challenge in terms of the capability the Syrian military. They are very capable."

Dempsey also called plans to simply arm the opposition "premature."

"I would challenge anyone to clearly identify for me the opposition movement in Syria at this point," Dempsey said, adding that the crisis had grown increasingly complicated over the months.
posted by:
Gerbil
Chicago
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  • Re: israel attacking iran?

    Sat, February 25, 2012 - 11:54 AM
    articles.latimes.com/2012/fe...20120217
    Reporting from Washington — An Israeli bombing attack might set back Iran's nuclear development program by one to two years, America's top intelligence official told a Senate committee Thursday, indicating that viable military options are far more limited than Israeli leaders have suggested.

    James R. Clapper, director of National Intelligence, said he does not believe that Israel has decided to attack Iran's uranium enrichment and other nuclear facilities. Clapper said the U.S. intelligence community believes that Iran's leaders have not decided to build nuclear weapons but are pursuing technology that might allow them to do so.

    Clapper's appraisal comes as the standoff with Iran has raised concern in Washington and other capitals that Israel may launch a preemptive airstrike, as it did against nuclear targets in Iraq and Syria. Some U.S. officials have suggested that an attack could be carried out this spring.

    In recent months, the West has tightened economic sanctions against Iran's oil and banking sectors, and unidentified assailants have killed half a dozen nuclear scientists in Iran, suggesting a covert campaign to derail the program. This week, Israel accused Tehran of ordering assassination attempts on Israelis living in Thailand, India and Georgia.

    Clapper's comments largely echoed those of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, who recently downplayed the likelihood of an Israeli knockout blow.

    "At best," an Israeli attack "might postpone [Iran] maybe one, possibly two years," Panetta said in December at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy. "It depends on the ability to truly get the targets that they're after. Frankly, some of those targets are very difficult to get at."

    Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that U.S. intelligence agencies cannot calculate with precision how much damage, or delay, an Israeli strike might achieve. "There's a lot of imponderables," he said, including the targets chosen, how ordnance is used and how quickly Iran might recover.

    Most experts argue that Iranian scientists now possess enough technological know-how so that no air campaign, not even sustained bombing by U.S. forces, could destroy Iran's ability to someday produce a nuclear weapon should it choose to do so.

    Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made headlines when he told a reporter that Israel can "cause severe damage to Iran's nuclear sites and bring about a major delay in the Iranian nuclear project."

    U.S. intelligence officials are skeptical. Former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden told a group of foreign policy experts last month that Israel is not capable of inflicting significant damage on Iran's nuclear sites. Some are situated at the outer range of Israeli bombers, and others are underground, he said.

    "The Israelis aren't going to [attack Iran] … they can't do it, it's beyond their capacity," Hayden said. "They only have the ability to make this worse."

    A monthlong U.S. bombing campaign would inflict far more damage, Hayden said, but it wouldn't be worth it. The George W. Bush administration studied the issue, he said.

    "The consensus was that [attacking Iran] would guarantee that which we are trying to prevent: an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon and that would build it in secret," Hayden said.

    Clapper and Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, also said at the Senate hearing that the militant group Al Qaeda in Iraq may have played a role in several recent bombings against government facilities in Syria, but they hedged their statements.

    Clapper said the bombings at security and intelligence installations in Damascus, the Syrian capital, and Aleppo bear "all the earmarks of an Al Qaeda-like attack. So we believe that Al Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria."

    Burgess said U.S. intelligence has seen no evidence that extremists from elsewhere were heading to Syria to fight.

    Clapper said that Syria's stocks of chemical weapons appeared to be secure, and that U.S. intelligence agencies are watching them closely.

    ken.dilanian@latimes.com
  • Re: israel attacking iran?

    Sat, February 25, 2012 - 11:56 AM
    www.haaretz.com/print-edit...ts-1.413845
    Israel has protested to the United States over recent comments by senior American officials critical of any Israeli attack on Iran, saying this criticism "served Iran's interests."

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and other senior officials made their displeasure known to Tom Donilon, U.S. national security adviser who has been in Israel this week.

    A senior Israeli official said Netanyahu and Barak told Donilon of their dissatisfaction with the interview given by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, to CNN on Sunday.

    Dempsey said "I don't think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran," and a strike "would be destabilizing" and "not prudent."

    Dempsey said the United States has so far not been able to persuade Israel not to attack Iran. "I wouldn't suggest that we've persuaded them that our view is the correct view," he said.

    The Israeli officials also objected to a number of briefings senior American officials gave American correspondents, who wrote in recent weeks about a possible Israeli attack in Iran.

    The story that angered Netanyahu most was an NBC broadcast two weeks ago saying Israel would attack Iran's nuclear facilities with Jericho missiles, commando forces and F-151 jets.

    "We made it clear to Donilon that all those statements and briefings only served the Iranians," a senior Israeli official said. "The Iranians see there's controversy between the United States and Israel, and that the Americans object to a military act. That reduces the pressure on them."

    Donilon also met a team of Israeli experts from the ministries and intelligence agencies, headed by National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror, who coordinates the Iranian portfolio. He also met Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and Military Intelligence head Aviv Kochavi.

    All the officials told Donilon that the pressure and sanctions on Iran must be increased, especially to avoid having to use military force.

    "We made it clear that if we don't increase the pressure on the Iranians now, we might be in a situation in which the question how Iran obtained nuclear weapons would become an issue for commentators and historians," the official said.

    The talks between Israel and the United States on the Iranian nuclear issue will continue on Thursday, when U.S. National Director of Intelligence James Clapper comes to Israel for talks with intelligence and defense establishment heads.

    The White House said on Monday that Donilon invited Netanyahu to a meeting with President Barack Obama on March 5.
    • Re: israel attacking iran?

      Mon, February 27, 2012 - 2:55 AM
      <"The Israelis aren't going to [attack Iran] … they can't do it, it's beyond their capacity," Hayden said. "They only have the ability to make this worse."

      A monthlong U.S. bombing campaign would inflict far more damage, Hayden said, but it wouldn't be worth it. The George W. Bush administration studied the issue, he said.

      "The consensus was that [attacking Iran] would guarantee that which we are trying to prevent: an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon and that would build it in secret," Hayden said. >

      that bit seems to sum the whole thing up.

      Its a bit late now but it seems a key mistake was made with Iran when the more moderate Mohammad Khatami was in untill about 2005, when he was holding out his hand to American and trying to talk peace, and then Dick Chenny said "we dont talk with evil", now they are more extreme than ever, which kind of happened in two phases, the rejection by the Neo Cons and the Iraq invasion discredited the moderates and swung Iran further to the hard liners.

      Then when the geen revoultion happened this purged moderates in Iran even more and swung Iran even further hardline.

      Now there seems no easy answer to this, Israel or American striking (the later obviously very unlikely anytime soon) seem like its a mistake, probably a very big mistake, yet a Nuclear armed Iran in its current condition is also something to worry about. Being fair to Israel, if we were talking about Nuclear weapons that could be delivered to American cities, I bet America strking would be much more on the table. Im not sure how far that would be off, but going from what you hear about N Korea, i think its a long long way off.

      That being said I heard an ex local head of the CIA saying on Hard Talk about 4 years ago that Iran already had the ability to smuggle a chemical or bilogical weapon into Tel Aviv and kill 100's of thousands of people , so as he put it if Iran had a suicidal tendency to do something like a nuclear strike on Israel they already have that kind of ability with weapons of mass destruction in other form.

      I guess there is some chance with sanctions as harsh as they have just recently been increased to, and the regime said to be quite unstable now, there is some chance it may collapse and green revolution 2 kick off, but that doesn't seem that likely in the immediate future, or at least its impossible really to predict whether it will happen or not.

      I actually have a gut instinct that the noise coming out of Israel at the moment about a strike is going to prove to be just that, noise, in terms of this year, that they will not risk angering America and the world with the huge fall out it could entail when push comes to shove, but as to next year, that's a different matter.


    • Re: israel attacking iran?

      Mon, February 27, 2012 - 1:11 PM
      i cant find it now but i saw a story about how israel and the kurds attacked a iranian nuclear site. that is something if its true for sure!
      • Re: israel attacking iran?

        Mon, February 27, 2012 - 4:04 PM
        <<i cant find it now but i saw a story about how israel and the kurds attacked a iranian nuclear site. that is something if its true for sure!

        That was Iraq and it happened in 1981. I have said it before and I will say it again, Iran and the western world have ratcheted the saber rattling up and downsince the Iran hostrage crisis, a cycle that continues today. Some have been saying that an attack on Iran is just around the corner for over 10 years, so forgive me if I don't think an attack on Iran is imminent.
        • Unsu...
           

          Re: israel attacking iran?

          Mon, February 27, 2012 - 4:32 PM

          <I have said it before and I will say it again, Iran and the western world have ratcheted the saber rattling up and downsince the Iran hostrage crisis, a cycle that continues today. Some have been saying that an attack on Iran is just around the corner for over 10 years, so forgive me if I don't think an attack on Iran is imminent.>


          who is simply carrying out the Neocons' war plans created right after 9/11 ... if not before.


          General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon]. georgewashington2.blogspot.com/20...tml
          • Re: israel attacking iran?

            Mon, February 27, 2012 - 4:40 PM
            <<who is simply carrying out the Neocons' war plans created right after 9/11 ... if not before.

            Who is carrying out the Necons post-911 plans?

            <<General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].

            This has been known since.......well 2003. lol. :)
        • Unsu...
           

          Re: israel attacking iran?

          Sat, March 3, 2012 - 10:15 PM
          imminent, no, only at a time and a place of our choice ? :)

          "....Neocons planned regime change in Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syria and a host of other countries right after 9/11 … if not before.

          And that Obama is implementing these same plans – just with a “kindler, gentler” face."
          www.globalresearch.ca/index.php
  • Re: israel attacking iran?

    Mon, February 27, 2012 - 12:48 PM
    www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25...a-bomb.html
    February 24, 2012
    U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb
    By JAMES RISEN and MARK MAZZETTI

    WASHINGTON — Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.

    Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.

    At the center of the debate is the murky question of the ultimate ambitions of the leaders in Tehran. There is no dispute among American, Israeli and European intelligence officials that Iran has been enriching nuclear fuel and developing some necessary infrastructure to become a nuclear power. But the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies believe that Iran has yet to decide whether to resume a parallel program to design a nuclear warhead — a program they believe was essentially halted in 2003 and which would be necessary for Iran to build a nuclear bomb. Iranian officials maintain that their nuclear program is for civilian purposes.

    In Senate testimony on Jan. 31, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials believe that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon. David H. Petraeus, the C.I.A. director, concurred with that view at the same hearing. Other senior United States officials, including Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have made similar statements in recent television appearances.

    “They are certainly moving on that path, but we don’t believe they have actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Clapper told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Critics of the American assessment in Jerusalem and some European capitals point out that Iran has made great strides in the most difficult step toward building a nuclear weapon, enriching uranium. That has also been the conclusion of a series of reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspectors, who on Friday presented new evidence that the Iranians have begun enriching uranium in an underground facility.

    Once Iran takes further steps to actually enrich weapons grade fuel — a feat that the United States does not believe Iran has yet accomplished — the critics believe that it would be relatively easy for Iran to engineer a warhead and then have a bomb in short order. They also criticize the C.I.A. for being overly cautious in its assessments of Iran, suggesting that it is perhaps overcompensating for its faulty intelligence assessments in 2002 about Iraq’s purported weapons programs, which turned out not to exist. In addition, Israeli officials have challenged the very premise of the 2007 intelligence assessment, saying they do not believe that Iran ever fully halted its work on a weapons program.

    Yet some intelligence officials and outside analysts believe there is another possible explanation for Iran’s enrichment activity, besides a headlong race to build a bomb as quickly as possible. They say that Iran could be seeking to enhance its influence in the region by creating what some analysts call “strategic ambiguity.” Rather than building a bomb now, Iran may want to increase its power by sowing doubt among other nations about its nuclear ambitions. Some point to the examples of Pakistan and India, both of which had clandestine nuclear weapons programs for decades before they actually decided to build bombs and test their weapons in 1998.

    “I think the Iranians want the capability, but not a stockpile,” said Kenneth C. Brill, a former United States ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency who also served as director of the intelligence community’s National Counterproliferation Center from 2005 until 2009. Added a former intelligence official: “The Indians were a screwdriver turn away from having a bomb for many years. The Iranians are not that close.”

    To be sure, American analysts acknowledge that understanding the intentions of Iran’s leadership is extremely difficult, and that their assessments are based on limited information. David A. Kay, who was head of the C.I.A.’s team that searched for Iraq’s weapons programs after the United States invasion, was cautious about the quality of the intelligence underlying the current American assessment.

    “They don’t have evidence that Iran has made a decision to build a bomb, and that reflects a real gap in the intelligence,” Mr. Kay said. “It’s true the evidence hasn’t changed very much” since 2007, he added. “But that reflects a lack of access and a lack of intelligence as much as anything.”

    Divining the intentions of closed societies is one of the most difficult tasks for American intelligence analysts, and the C.I.A. for decades has had little success penetrating regimes like Iran and North Korea to learn how their leaders make decisions.

    Amid the ugly aftermath of the botched Iraq intelligence assessments, American spy agencies in 2006 put new analytical procedures in place to avoid repeating the failures. Analysts now have access to raw information about the sources behind intelligence reports, to help better determine the credibility of the sources and prevent another episode like the one in which the C.I.A. based much of its conclusions about Iraq’s purported biological weapons on an Iraqi exile who turned out to be lying.

    Analysts are also required to include in their reports more information about the chain of logic that has led them to their conclusions, and differing judgments are featured prominently in classified reports, rather than buried in footnotes.

    When an unclassified summary of the 2007 intelligence estimate on Iran’s nuclear program was made public, stating that it had abandoned work on a bomb, it stunned the Bush administration and the world. It represented a sharp reversal from the intelligence community’s 2005 estimate, and drew criticism of the C.I.A. from European and Israeli officials, as well as conservative pundits. They argued that it was part of a larger effort by the C.I.A. to prevent American military action against Iran.

    The report was so controversial that many outside analysts expected that the intelligence community would be forced to revise and repudiate the estimate after new evidence emerged about Iran’s program, notably from the United Nations’ inspectors. Yet analysts now say that while there has been mounting evidence of Iranian work on enrichment facilities, there has been far less clear evidence of a weapons program.

    Still, Iran’s enrichment activities have raised suspicions, even among skeptics.

    “What has been driving the discussion has been the enrichment activity,” said one former intelligence official. “That’s made everybody nervous. So the Iranians continue to contribute to the suspicions about what they are trying to do.”

    Iran’s efforts to hide its nuclear facilities and to deceive the West about its activities have also intensified doubts. But some American analysts warn that such behavior is not necessarily proof of a weapons program. They say that one mistake the C.I.A. made before the war in Iraq was to assume that because Saddam Hussein resisted weapons inspections — acting as if he were hiding something — it meant that he had a weapons program.

    As Mr. Kay explained, “The amount of evidence that you were willing to go with in 2002 is not the same evidence you are willing to accept today.”
    • Re: israel attacking iran?

      Mon, February 27, 2012 - 3:50 PM
      more and more Im thinking that Israel are just bluffing, not bluffing forever, but that there unlikely to strike this year, next year maybe, the bluff being intended to put pressure on Iran. Of course Andrew might be right that Netanyahu could want to sabotage Obama's election by striking so they could have someone more hardline in, for two reasons - Iran and Palestine, but as Gerbil pointed out its not sure it would all go against Obama, though probably it would if it went bad, which it probably would.

      its all like some kind of weird dangerous game of chess all three parties are playing.


      • Re: israel attacking iran?

        Mon, April 30, 2012 - 3:21 PM
        <<more and more Im thinking that Israel are just bluffing,

        Pay attention to the fact that when both Iran and Israel are about to have elections, the rhetoric on both sides is raised, giving the false impression that an attack is around the corner. When reality may well be that they are engaging in such language for their domestic audience, nothing wins votes better than fear. Which is why we see this raising and lowering of tensions between the US, Irael, and Iran. It is like the changing of the seasons, LOL!
        • Re: israel attacking iran?

          Tue, May 1, 2012 - 1:12 PM
          yes I think your right about that Jeff though i think in this specific case it was more about Israel posturing to get more reassurance from America that they would eventually act if Iran does not heed sanctions this year or next. It seems they DID get that reassurance.

          Fact is though this is not going to go on like this forever, either Iran do start listening to sanctions and co-operate more with inspectors over the next 2 or 3 years, or eventually America or Israel will act. This is not going away. Its got 5 years to play out max, but more likely no more than 2.

          Its going to be interesting in a macabre way what happens then. It seems unlikely Israel or America will allow a Nuclear Iran even if an attack is very costly in more ways than one.



          • Re: israel attacking iran?

            Tue, May 1, 2012 - 3:57 PM
            People forget that other countries, including Iran and Isreal, raise the rhetoric during elections. Shit, if people based their ideas as to what the US was going to do on the hate mongering being spewed by Republicans, they would think we were just as nuts the Iranian whackos.
  • Re: israel attacking iran?

    Fri, March 2, 2012 - 10:44 AM
    www.nytimes.com/2012/03/03...-bluff.html
    March 2, 2012
    Obama Says Military Option on Iran Not a ‘Bluff’
    By MARK LANDLER

    WASHINGTON — President Obama, speaking days before a crucial meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, rejected suggestions that the West could contain a nuclear-armed Iran, and warned that the United States could take military action to prevent it from acquiring a bomb.

    But the president also said he would try to persuade Mr. Netanyahu, whom he is meeting here on Monday, that a pre-emptive Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities could help Tehran by allowing it to portray itself as a victim. And he said such military action would only delay, not prevent, Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.

    Mr. Obama’s remarks, in a 45-minute interview with The Atlantic magazine earlier this week, were intended to reassure Jerusalem of Washington’s resolve to protect its ally against an Iranian threat, while making the case that Israel should not take matters into its own hands.

    “I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” Mr. Obama said in the interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent with The Atlantic. “I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are.

    “But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say,” the president said.

    Mr. Obama’s remarks built on his vow in the State of the Union address that the United States would “take no options off the table” in preventing Iran from acquiring a weapon. But he was more explicit in saying that those options include a “military component,” albeit after a list of other steps, including diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions.

    While administration officials have signaled that the United States is not contemplating a “containment” strategy toward Iran, Mr. Obama had not been as unequivocal in rejecting it. Such a strategy, he said, would run “completely contrary” to his nuclear nonproliferation policies and raise a host of dangers the United States could do little to control.

    The president spoke at length about how he believed Iran’s acquisition of a weapon would trigger an arms race in the Middle East, offering his most robust case for why the West could not successfully contain Iran the way it did the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

    There is a “profound” danger that an Iranian nuclear weapon could end up in the hands of a terrorist organization, Mr. Obama said, and several other nations in the region would feel compelled to push for nuclear weapons to shield themselves from a nuclear Iran.

    While the president noted that Israel understandably felt more vulnerable to an Iranian threat because of its geography and history, he said, “This is something in the national security interests of the United States and in the interests of the world community.”

    Israeli officials have said that they may feel compelled to strike Iran before its nuclear program becomes effectively impregnable by sheltering its key uranium-enrichment facilities in a fortified complex under hundreds of feet of granite in a mountainside.

    Mr. Obama, who made diplomatic outreach to Iran a hallmark of his first year in office, said he still believed that Iran’s leaders could make a rational calculation, under the pressure of international isolation and harsh sanctions, to give up their nuclear ambitions.

    “They recognize that they are in a bad, bad place right now,” the president said. “It is possible for them to make a strategic calculation that, at minimum, pushes much further to the right whatever potential breakout capacity they may have, and that may turn out to be the best decision for Israel’s security.”

    Pointing to Libya and South Africa, Mr. Obama noted that countries tend to relinquish nuclear weapons on their own, rather than as a consequence of military action. The United States, he said, was seeking a permanent, not a temporary, solution to the problem.

    Taking note of the violent uprising in Syria, Mr. Obama also said an Israeli military strike could deflect attention from other forces in the region that were eroding Iran’s power and influence.

    “At a time when there is not a lot of sympathy for Iran and its only real ally is on the ropes,” he said, “do we want a distraction in which suddenly Iran can portray itself as a victim, and deflect attention from what has to be the core issue, which is their potential pursuit of nuclear weapons?”

    Still, with Mr. Netanyahu coming to Washington and supporters of Israel gathering for a conference of the most influential pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Mr. Obama sought to project solidarity between the United States and Israel. He also said that the two were largely in sync in their appraisal of Iran’s nuclear program.

    “Our assessment, which is shared by the Israelis, is that Iran does not yet have a nuclear weapon and is not yet in a position to obtain a nuclear weapon without us having a pretty long lead time in which we will know that they are making that attempt,” he said.
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      Re: israel attacking iran?

      Sat, March 3, 2012 - 10:27 PM
      <Pointing to Libya and South Africa, Mr. Obama noted that countries tend to relinquish nuclear weapons on their own, rather than as a consequence of military action. The United States, he said, was seeking a permanent, not a temporary, solution to the problem. > :-D

  • Re: israel attacking iran?

    Fri, March 2, 2012 - 11:00 AM
    Frankly, I keep expecting to hear on the news about how Israeli commandos have used plastique to blow up the nuclear labs and spread enriched uranium throughout the country, contaminting Iran for generations. Israel is famous for small, elite units which maximize effectiveness with surgical strikes.

    It would be just like Israel to "allow" Iran to feel the side-effects of nuclear ambitions.
    • Re: israel attacking iran?

      Sat, March 3, 2012 - 1:33 AM
      <It would be just like Israel to "allow" Iran to feel the side-effects of nuclear ambitions.>

      Those horrible Jews. Just like Jews to do something like that. Seriously - someone should do something about them.
      • Re: israel attacking iran?

        Mon, April 30, 2012 - 3:28 PM
        <<Those horrible Jews. Just like Jews to do something like that. Seriously - someone should do something about them.

        That is not what he said, please stop with the dishonest mischaracterizations.
        • Re: israel attacking iran?

          Mon, April 30, 2012 - 4:06 PM
          Yes he did. Read it again.

          Those damned Jews. 'It would be just like Israel to "allow" Iran to feel the side-effects of nuclear ambitions.' They are so nefarious & horrible to "allow" the Iranians "to feel the side-effects of" Israel harming Iran's nuke facilities just enough for the Iranians to feel the side effects of a nuk-lear leak. That's just like them, those Jews. I can see them doing that.
          • Re: israel attacking iran?

            Tue, May 1, 2012 - 10:33 AM
            Except he spoke nothing of "The Jews", he was speaking of the nation of Israel. Stop trying to mischaracterize his words to make it sound anti-semitic, even going so far as to add words and intention that was not there. He said nothing of "horrible Jews", he said nothing like "someone should do something about them". You went above and beyond anything he said. You can disagree with his words regarding the Iraeli Govt., but please do not add intention, words, and meaning that in anything he wrote.
            • Re: israel attacking iran?

              Tue, May 1, 2012 - 12:11 PM
              That should have read "and meaning that is not in anything he wrote." I mean, if one is critical of actions by Saudi Arabia, does it then follow that they are bigoted against Arabs? Or how about criticism of Iran? Does it then follow that you are bigoted against Persians? Of course not.
            • Re: israel attacking iran?

              Tue, May 1, 2012 - 1:04 PM
              < 'It would be just like Israel>

              Israel does NOT = Jews, Israel are often listed as a "rouge" nation, having for example ignored more UN resolutions against them than Saddam Hussein, so referring to the actions of that government as such is in no way anti Semitic, just as for example referring to Sudan as a rouge nation is not being racist against blacks or Muslims, and that claim about antisemitism and criticism of Israel is getting VERY tired now already.

          • Re: israel attacking iran?

            Tue, May 1, 2012 - 12:51 PM
            Andrew has been critical of me, so that means he is bigoted against Dutch/French/English/Irish/Native Americans!
            • Re: israel attacking iran?

              Tue, May 1, 2012 - 2:14 PM
              <Andrew has been critical of me, so that means he is bigoted against Dutch/French/English/Irish/Native Americans!>

              Goddamned right I am. Fucking Dutch/French/English/Irish/Native Americansrs.
              • Re: israel attacking iran?

                Tue, May 1, 2012 - 3:54 PM
                Your joke is a way to avoid having to address your obvious mischaracterization, ie., falsely attributing anti-semitic language to another on tribe simply because you and him have had disagreements.
  • Re: israel attacking iran?

    Mon, April 30, 2012 - 9:56 AM
    www.wired.com/dangerroom/...s-near-iran/
    The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world’s most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war.