|Israeli Air Force F-16's would lead an attack on Iran|
As the crisis over the Iranian nuclear program continues to trickle along, columnist Michael Burleigh of the UK's Daily Mail is out with an article predicting that Israel will attack Iran within weeks. According to Burleigh, while Obama would much prefer to defer any decision on whether to strike Iran's nuclear program until after the November elections (when he hopes he will be re-elected), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is running out of patience with the slow pace of negotiations between Iran and the international community.
Israel is worried that once Iran gets far enough along dispersing their nuclear program underground, the Iranians will have entered a "zone of immunity" where the Israelis will not be able to effectively bomb Iran's nuclear program. According to Burleigh:
"But seeing no signs that slow-burning sanctions are effective, Israel is running out of patience — and is coming to the view it should no longer entrust others with its own security.
This week, Alon Ben-David, the well-informed military correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10 News, claimed that the country is ‘closer than ever’ to a strike against Iran. He said the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ‘determined’ to attack Iran before the American Presidential election on November 6, just 11 weeks away."As I noted in a recent post, Haaretz had a long interview with an Israeli "decision maker" - widely assumed to be Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak - who also appear to be leaning towards an Israeli attack on Iran sooner rather then later. The decision on if and when Israel will attack Iran's nuclear program lies with Netanyahu and Barak, and if they are both leaning towards a more aggressive posture, then an Israeli attack on Iran in 2012 before the US elections is quite likely. Right now, I'd put the possibility of an Israeli surprise attack on Iran before November at 50%.
Here is the Michael Burleigh column from the Daily Mail.