State Dept Assures Israel: War Likely if Iran Talks Fail

Attacking Iran Is 'Alternative' to Diplomacy

While you never really know when an Obama Administration official is talking to the Israeli press if they’re making statements of policy or just saying what they figure Israeli hawks want to hear, the latest Jerusalem Post interview with State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf very much plays up the idea of a war with Iran at some point fairly soon after the “interim” nuclear deal expires in July.

“I’m not predicting that we would take military action right away,” Harf said, adding that the US is “committed to resolving it” whether that means diplomacy or war with Iran.

Talks on a permanent Iran nuclear deal haven’t even begun (but are expected within the next week or two), but US officials have already repeatedly downplayed the prospect of them working, particularly when talking to Israeli officials, and played up the idea of starting a war soon thereafter once that happens.

Israeli officials reacted to the interim deal with anger and have been overtly trying to sabotage a permanent nuclear deal with Iran, with officials suggesting they might unilaterally start a war with Iran themselves if a deal was close to being finalized. Assuring Israel and its powerful lobby of America’s comparable bellicosity seems to be job one for US diplomats, though again it is unclear if that march to war is sincere or just something to keep Israel’s far-right government from flying off the handle.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of