The Obama Administration is said to be “increasingly anxious” about Israel’s constant public threats to attack Iran. While officials aren’t positive that such an attack will take place they do see it as likely.
The US, for its part, issues fairly regular threats against Iran, but those threats have been coming since the Reagan Administration and have never been particularly credible. Israel has been threatening to attack Iran “within a matter of months” for decades themselves, but officials say that this time they really mean it.
Officials familiar with the situation say that the odds are “better than 50-50” that Israel will actually launch an attack this time, and more than one official was quoted as saying there was a 70% chance of it happening.
Much has been made of the potential timing of such an attack, and Israeli officials, notably Defense Minister Ehud Barak, have been insisting that time is of the essence and an attack must occur soon. Some Israeli analysts, however, warn that attacking Iran’s civilian nuclear program won’t necessarily do much to slow it without a protracted bombing campaign.
An Israeli attack would start a major war, and would almost inevitably draw the US in. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned that an attack by the US would “harm America” and US officials have said as much several times, a fact that never seems to occur to the many hawkish officials who have long been pushing this war.
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