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February 3, 2012 3:04 pm

American and Israeli Officials Monitoring Iran and Each Other

avatar by Zachary Lichaa

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Israeli PM Bejnamin Netanyahu (left) with President Obama (right). Photo: wiki commons.

Washington and Jerusalem were anything but quiet this week about the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.  Israel’s defense minister was clear that as days and weeks pass, the ability to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions becomes harder, as the Islamic Republic’s facilities move underground at a rapid rate.

Within the U.S. administration, David Ignatius of the Washington Post reported that Leon Panetta – U.S. Secretary of Defense and former Director of the CIA – believes an Israeli strike is coming before June, due to the concerns Defense Minister Barak expressed.  Following Ignatius’s report, Panetta declined to deny it’s content, saying his thoughts on the matter would remain private.

All of this comes during the same week that reports surfaced indicating Israeli officials warned their American counterparts that Iran is making concrete strides in developing a long range missile capable of striking well beyond Israeli territory, including New York City.

“Iran’s ‘Sputnik’ like satellite launch means that they have the missile capacity to possibly deliver a nuclear payload to targets beyond Israel. Still, this missile is liquid-fueled which makes it vulnerable. According to a former IDF Chief of Staff, the explosion that killed many Iranian rocket scientists and the top honcho Hassan Mukaddam two months ago, occurred during the test of a solid-fueled rocket motor which would give Iran the real striking capability,” a source within the Israeli government told The Algemeiner.  For security reasons, anonymity was requested.

This source says that Israel’s concern about  passing a threshold in which Iran’s nuclear program becomes immune to foreign intervention is real.  He added that President Obama’s response to an Israeli strike and the aftermath that would follow, is no doubt on the minds of Israeli government officials.

“It’s true that Jerusalem hates the possibility that Iranian program will pass the level of Israeli conventional capabilities and from this point on Israel’s future will be in Obama’s hands.”

Some have noted that in the past, when Israel decides to launch a large scale operation outside it’s borders, including the 2007 strike on Syria’s nuclear facility and the 1981 hit on Iraq’s nuclear reactor, it usually isn’t discussing the execution of it publicly.

“Israeli tough talk is pretty much the only weapon Obama has in pushing Europe to sanctions. From the Israeli point of view there’s no downside in creating an atmosphere of threats. Either Western powers will apply more sanctions, or Iranians will panic and do something really stupid, in any case Israel wins,” the Israeli government adviser said.

The development of a nuclear weapon by Iran also worries Canada, with Foreign Minister John Baird telling Israel Hayom on Friday “It’s very easy to put one and one together. I believe Iran will use these weapons.”

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  • This time, if Israel attacks Iran, thousands of missiles will be fired from Hisbollah in Lebanon and from the Gaza Strip. It will be necessary for Israel to blitzkrieg these threats before either a premptive attack against Iran or a response to their attack against Israel. Even Syria may respond to an attack against Israel to deflect criticism of their actions at home. All in all, the game plan this time will involve a much greater war in the Near East than ever before. I hope that the CIA and affiliated organizations are trying to arouse the anti-regime population in Iran to initiate a revolution there to avoid the conflict of a big war in the Near East. In addition, where does Russia stand in all of this?

  • I do fervently hope that our (Israel’s!) response will not be circumvented by the US the way it was for the Yom Kippur war when, even though we new that we will be attacked, the suggestion (read the threat) from the US was to keep mum so G-d forbid Israel would not be seen as the aggressor.
    Considering that the world prefers to love dead Jews versus live ones, it is easy and predicable to say that, again, we will have probably sacrifice the lives of our children so the “world” will not get upset by defending our lives before they are taken away.
    The questions we need to answer honestly:
    Have we not already earned the right to react before being killed and exterminated?
    Have we not seen that were this to happen, the world will watch unblinking and profer sorrow in the aftermath?
    Have we STILL learned nothing from history?

    Zitta Zohar

  • Either Leon Panetta is following President Obama’s dictate to try to make it harder for Israel to defend itself by crippling Iran’s offensive capabilities–or he is circumventing the president and forcing his hand to give Israel a “green light.” It is too early to discern which it is at this point…and, time is the issue at hand here, and we may have to discern Mr. Panetta’s role while sifting through ashes…someone’s ashes…hopefully not Israel’s!