Despite Deal, US Officials Still Talk Up Attacking Iran

USA Today Cites Military Planners Talking 'Comprehensive Attack'

Through years of diplomatic efforts, US officials have threatened to attack Iran on a regular basis. Exactly how often they should threaten Iran has often been a matter of contention, but there appeared to be bipartisan agreement that threatening Iran made some sort of sense.

Since all the threats at the time were based nominally on disputes over Iran’s nuclear program, one would think the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, of which the US is a party and which the administration is championing, would stop the loose talk of war. That’s not the case, however.

If anything, in the weeks since the deal was reached, US officials have threatened Iran even more often, with the latest being a USA Today article quoting two “senior” military officials, described as being involved in the planning of attacks against Iran, describing the “comprehensive attack” on the nation.

The officials expressed “moderate confidence” that attacking Iran would set back its nuclear program “by as much as two years.” This is the same civilian nuclear program whose status was already resolved diplomatically.

And while the article treated this as pushing back Iran’s non-existent weapons program by two years, analysts and even some officials have warned that nothing would convince Iran of the need to have an active nuclear weapons program so much as a US attack on them.

It would also be a war crime of the highest order, as since Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program, a fact the US intelligence community has repeatedly attested to, means that attacking Iran’s nuclear program would mean attacking openly civilian infrastructure, things like power plants and the medical isotope reactor, simply to damage their infrastructure.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.