Israeli attack on Iran not imminent

If there was a ministry of information it would release reports like this: “US Assures Israel That Iran Threat Is Not Imminent.” But why would Washington need to create such an agency when the New York Times so gladly provides the service?

In a report transparently written as a quasi-official response to Jeffrey Goldberg’s “The Point of No Return,” we learn that contrary to all the feverish speculation about an imminent strike on Iran, it turns out everything’s cool.

And maybe it is — though the Times’ Mazzetti and Sanger could do more credible reporting if they made an effort not to sound like a mouthpiece for the administration.

The one priceless quote in their article comes from Gary Samore, President Obama’s top adviser on nuclear issues, who when referring to an anticipated one year “dash time” that the Iranians would need to convert nuclear material into a working weapon, said: “A year is a very long period of time.”

Israeli officials said their assessments were coming into line with the American view, but they remain suspicious that Iran has a secret enrichment site yet to be discovered.

American officials said, in contrast to a year ago, that Iran’s nuclear program was not currently the central focus of discussions between top leaders in Washington and Jerusalem. During the last visit to Washington by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in early July, the Iranian program was relatively low on the agenda, according to one senior administration official.

The next time Netanyahu takes questions from the press, maybe someone can ask him whether he agrees with the White House’s assessment about the nature of time and that a year is indeed a very long period.

Another issue the article touches upon is the breakout capacity for the long-delayed National Intelligence Estimate. Since the White House seems eager to say what the NIE will say even before its been released, can we interpret this as an effort to shape the report that is itself supposed to shape the administration’s policy?

Finally, just to be sure that the Israel lobby does not become too despondent when they hear another war might not be just around the corner (despite their best efforts), the article closes by saying:

Even as American and Israeli officials agree that the date that Iran is likely to have a nuclear weapon has been pushed into the future, that does not mean that Israel has abandoned the idea of a possible military strike.

American officials said that Israel was particularly concerned that, over time, Iran’s supreme leader could order that nuclear materials be dispersed to secret locations around the country, making it less likely that an Israeli military strike would significantly cripple the program.

So have no fear — the option of a strike is still on the table, or to be precise, at some indeterminate point in the future there might be a strike and it could happen sooner rather than later because at some point (future or past) the Iranians could hide everything and maybe they already have secret facilities in which case the opportunity to destroy them has already past. Clear?

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4 thoughts on “Israeli attack on Iran not imminent

  1. Laurie K

    Perhaps someone could explain why the US subsidizes the belligierent, racist, illigitimate, rogue nuclear equipped state of Israel and sanctions Iran – an NPT signatory.
    No – it is not about human rights.

  2. DE Teodoru

    A few more days and Bolton’s paroxyzmal declaration will have been nothing more that a prostatic surge. In the final analysis, Iran, the ground zero mosque, Gaza are all Leninoid propaganda to make it seem like Israel is in charge of the world. It is not. It is a failed state full of shysters in command that use the Holocaust to bleed caring Diaspora Jews. While there are many shysters in the Israeli government there are no shahids, so don’t expect them to do anything crazy that would cost them $$$. They’ll take it– territory, cash, gifts– only if it’s free. That’s the point Netanyahu made to them and left them dumbfounded while he announced negotiations. Please beleive me, PEACE IS AT HAND, not a mensch-hood war for neocons!

  3. Christopher Hoare

    It always seemed strange that the Iranians never responded to these threats, except to issue bluster of their own. Clearly they’d had a very good handle on the lack of competence and credibility of the neo-cons who form the US war party.

    Perhaps the US might, in time, develop a credible progressive movement that has the courage to face down these windbags, but don’t hold your breath.

  4. rupert small

    Well put Laurie K.
    DE Teodoru-
    I think I know what a “shyster”, or whatever, is; but what is a “shahid” ? Is it a type of sandwhich or something?

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