Israel could strike Iran as soon as September, American officials say: report / U.S. may run out of patience as sactions over nuclear program falter (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) BY NINA MANDELL 02/18/12)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Articles-Index-Top
Military action on Iran may happen sooner than later, unnamed
American officials reportedly said this week.
The Obama administration officials told The Guardian newspaper it’s
likely that sanctions in Iran will fail, and Israel or the United
States and Europe may attack by as early as September.
“The White House wants to see sanctions work. This is not the Bush
White House. It does not need another conflict,” an official
knowledgeable on Middle East policy told the London
newspaper. “(Iran’s) problem is that the guys in Tehran are behaving
like sanctions don’t matter, like their economy isn’t collapsing,
like Israel isn’t going to do anything.”
While officials told the newspaper the Obama administration would
prefer to delay any military actions until after the November
elections, other officials told the newspaper they believe the “sweet
spot” — or where a variety of diplomatic, policy and practical
timetables come together — for attack is in September or October.
American officials told the newspaper that if Israel did attack Iran,
the United States would undoubtedly be perceived to be in cahoots
with its Middle East ally — even though the Obama administration has
preached patience privately and publicly to the Israelis.
The news comes as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed this
week that Iran loaded its first domestically made fuel rod into a
nuclear reactor and threatened to cut of oil supplies to six European
Israel has cautioned that if it waits too long to attack Iran, the
strike won’t be effective because Iran is building much of its
nuclear weapons underground.
“It’s not that the Israelis believe the Iranians are on the brink of
a bomb. It’s that the Israelis may fear that the Iranian program is
on the brink of becoming out of reach of an Israeli military strike,
which means it creates a ‘now-or-never’ moment,” Colin Kahl, a former
deputy assistant secretary of defense, told the newspaper.
On Tuesday, defense secretary Leon Panetta told the Senate Armed
Services Committee that he does not think Israel had made a decision
to launch a military strike at Iran.
“We have common cause with Israel,” he said. “We have common cause
with the international community with regards to the concerns about
Iran. We’ve made very clear that they are not to develop a nuclear
weapon. We’ve made very clear that they are not to close the Straits
of Hormuz. We’ve also made very clear that they are not to export
terrorism and try to undermine other governments.” With News Wire
Services (© Copyright 2012 NYDailyNews.com. 02/18/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY