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MIDEAST > Upset by US stance, Israel speaks louder on Iran attack

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Isreali media reports says a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear program is ‘closer than ever’ despite the internal and external opposition on a strike

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Unveiling an upgraded short-range missile, Iran says it will build a new air defense
site in what appeared to be a bid to show its readiness against any Israeli attack. EPA photo

Unveiling an upgraded short-range missile, Iran says it will build a new air defense site in what appeared to be a bid to show its readiness against any Israeli attack. EPA photo

The Israeli government’s rhetoric concerning a possible attack aimed at Iran’s nuclear program has intensified, with local media reporting that a strike is “closer than ever,” and citing top officials.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is determined to attack Iran before the U.S. elections,” Israel’s Channel 10 News claimed on Aug. 20, and Israel is now “closer than ever” to a strike designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive, according to The Times of Israel.

Channel 10’s military reporter Alon Ben-David said “from the prime minister’s point of view, the time for action is getting ever closer. … It appears that we are getting closer than ever.”

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are advocating for an attack in the upcoming fall, according to the Israeli Ynetnews website. A report from Yedioth Ahronoth on Aug. 17 referred to Netanyahu’s certainty that U.S. President Barack Obama will not stop Iran’s nuclear development in time.

Opposition to attack

There is considerable opposition to an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, with President Shimon Peres, the army’s chief of General Staff and top generals, the intelligence community and opposition leader Shaul Mofaz all lined up against Israeli action at this stage, according to Channel 10 News’ report.

“It’s clear to us that we can’t do it alone,” Peres told Israel’s Channel Two television on Aug. 16, according to the Daily Beast website. “We can only delay [Iran’s progress]. Thus it’s clear to us that we need to go together with America. […] Israel should rely on itself, but that doesn’t mean we should give up our friends.” Several Israeli newspapers called the Peres interview a bombshell and one opinion writer said it would force Netanyahu to rethink his Iran strategy.

The U.S. has not ruled out military action against Iran but says the priority of world powers remains the use of diplomacy and sanctions to rein in its nuclear activity.

Meanwhile, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has called on the international community to declare the diplomatic channel a failure in mitigating Iran’s development of its nuclear program, Israel Radio reported on Aug. 12.

Netanyahu and Barak believe Obama would have no choice but to back an Israeli attack before the U.S. presidential elections in November, according to Ben-David, who said he “doubt[s] Obama could say anything that would convince Netanyahu to delay a possible attack.” Barak admits it is clear that Iran will respond to an attack on its nuclear facilities, Yedioth Ahronoth wrote. Still, he further argues that Israel “will not be destroyed.”

The Israeli government is not only discussing U.S. backing for a possible strike on Iran, but is also seeking internal support. Most recently as part of that effort Netanyahu sent an aide to meet with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-orthodox party Shas, to win his backing for an attack on Iran, Agence France-Presse reported.

August/22/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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cloud chaser

8/24/2012 5:01:31 PM

"Unlike Israel, Iran has no history of invading other nations" - This statement is false. Iran has attacked other nations via proxy - missile attacks against Israel are an act of war, whether carried out by uniformed Iranian soldiers, or by representatives of the Iranian regime, who train, get paid, and carry out policy of Iran, without official uniforms of republican guard.

stacy smith

8/24/2012 1:02:14 PM

‘Fairness’ is very objective, well even the American congressmen occasionally have voiced their balanced opinion on this ME country Iran contrast to what we regularly hear on ‘mainstream media’. Our obsessed notion of going to war, try to solve all global problems is bankrupting us. Unlike Israel, Iran has no history of invading other nations. It is our own unpopular PM Mr Netanyahu +warmongering foreign minister whom we are rather concerned about despite local & international objection to war

cloud chaser

8/24/2012 12:31:10 PM

To be fair - there are differences between the US attack in Iraq, and a possible Israeli preemptive strike in Iran. The most notable - existentialism. The US was never in danger of complete annihilation. In Israel the debate is still open whether a nuclear Iran is an existential danger 'a view promoted by Netanyahu and Barak, or just a deterrent against reprisals ala N. Korea, as claim many popular newspapers (most notably ynet and to some extent haaretz).

Benjamin Freedman

8/23/2012 7:56:27 AM

Sounds familiar: This craving attempt of warmongering instigated with ‘a pre-emptive’ attack, strongly resembles one recent and unforgettable history lesson: engaging in yet another costly mistake that mirrors the ever-unpopular Iraq war – an unwarranted war that was totally fabricated, based on a false idea that the country was hiding weapons of mass destruction. Now after nearly after a decade, same-old nasty-trick ‘on the table’.. ring a bell?

stacy smith

8/23/2012 7:37:25 AM

Unlike corrupt present Israel politicians &undemocratic Saudi’s dictator-regime couldn’t careless about our servicemen especially nearby 5th fleet Our brave men &women in uniform in that volatile region not to fight other’s wars but to safeguard our top priorities &own interests. It is a clear sign diverting attention from domestic issues understood by a broad majority &the sensible @home &abroad a desperate effort by the most unpopular PM ever Mr Netanyahu against the will of his own population

ilker avni

8/22/2012 10:38:01 PM

Turkish and Iranian relations which was very good, now has come down to a level of threats, thrown at each other.Iran seeing that her ally is slipping away,has now decided to stir up troubles with Syria,s neighbours,Turkey and Lebanon.Irans ally Hezbollah is sending fighters to support Alawites in Lebanon while Iran helps the PKK plant bombs in Turkey.Turkey was warned by the Grand Leader and by its top Iranian General,threats have now turned into action.the finger points to Iran.

ealsho@eartlink.net tango73

8/22/2012 9:36:08 PM

The atack shold not last more than 4 hours. The cruise missiles should destroy all defense systems including the radars and aiports. Than the atack bombers will clean the entire nuclear facilities. A cyber atack will blind and paralize the infrastructure.

Blue Beyond

8/22/2012 9:21:12 PM

Your reader Ismail Hijazi understands the reality that Israel is on the front line for Europe and for the Sunni world. Iran has become imperial as it searches for oil acquisitions to provide revenue to subsidize its own dysfunctional economy. Without that subsidy the economy would fail entirely and the regime of the ayatollahs would collapse. Iran threatens Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and joint Israel/Cyprus offshore natural gas development. Then there are the ayatollahs' millenarian fantasies.

mara mcglothin

8/22/2012 8:58:32 PM

Where are all the normal "USA Bashers"? Don't Jews control the USA? Isn't America considered Israel's "lap poodle"? You can't have it both ways.

Aryeh Rapaport

8/22/2012 8:00:02 PM

America, West & every responsible regime needs to join forces to oust Irans Religious Islamic govt & part of global axes of evil. As Iraq, Libya, Syria have fallen so too Iran will collapse. Any country interested in global trade, stability, predictability, peace needs to join forces to take them out. Its a Islamic religious regime which believes, promotes terrorism and elimination of Israel. No other Nuclear power is religious or calls for the destruction of another state
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