The odds of an Israeli attack on Iran seem to be growing all the time, with Israeli Army Chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz rejecting the efforts by US and British officials to delay such an attack, saying Israel will “make our own decision” on when to attack Iran.
Israel’s Defense Ministry and military leadership appear to be pushing hard for an attack, with US officials saying that Defense Minister Ehud Barak is taking an ever more hawkish tone on Iran, even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “sitting on the fence” about the idea.
US officials are seeing an Israeli attack on Iran as increasingly inevitable, saying that they are just waiting long enough to be able to say that sanctions have “failed” in convincing Iran to abandon their civilian nuclear program.
Meanwhile, efforts by the Iranian government to jump-start negotiations have mostly failed, with the US and EU still refusing to set a debate for the P5+1 talks that they’ve been saying were coming “soon.” The IAEA is in Iran this week for a new round of talks, but since the last visit by the inspection team ended without inspectors attempting to visit a single site, it seems unlikely those will provide any sort of breakthrough.
Threats from Israel and claims that an attack is imminent are nothing new. Indeed, both the US and Israel have been threatening to attack Iran on the basis of their nuclear program since the mid-1980s.
This time seems more serious, however, and even Iran is reacting that way, saying they are preparing a “worst-case scenario” in case of such an attack.