A report issued today by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) warned that the Israeli government believes that it still retains the ability to destroy Iran’s nuclear program with a unilateral attack, and as the international community’s diplomatic path remains unsuccessful in stopping a weapons program or indeed proving that one exists, Israel is “seriously considering” attacking Iran.
The prospect of an attack is primarily in the near term, because the attack on Iran’s illusory secret nuclear weapons program would be seriously complicated by the prospect of the Iranian government acquiring an S-300 air defense system from Russia. Russia has repeatedly insisted that it doesn’t intend to give Iran the system, but the IAEA insists Iran doesn’t have the ability to make nuclear weapons either. The Israeli government is less interested in the reality of the situation than with what has been repeated over and over domestically: that Iran is an “existential” threat to Israel and has to be stopped with military force.
But the WINEP report points out that Israel isn’t the only one that stands to lose from such an attack: the US would pay an enormous penalty internationally because whether it is the case or not they will be perceived as having given Israel a green light for the attack.