Connecting the Nuclear Dots on Iran

With the IAEA discussing a dramatic new report from its nuclear inspectors in Iran, are some – such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – exaggerating the imminence of a nuclear-armed Iran? Or is the U.S. government hopelessly misleading us that the threat is manageable through sanctions and tough talk?

A series of extraordinary leaks in the Israeli press last week revealed an internal debate within Israel’s inner security cabinet over the need to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons sites.

According to these reports, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak favored the strikes; Vice prime minister and strategic affairs minister Moshe “Bogey” Ya’alon reportedly was opposed. The leaks came on the heels of the third test-launch of a Jericho 3 nuclear-capable strategic missile, and what Israel claimed were long-planned air force exercises over Sardinia to simulate an attack on Iran.

According to former CIA case officer turned novelist Chet Nagle, the Jericho 3 test may have been designed by Israel to send quite a different message than the one being played up in the press.

Any Israeli attack on Iran is sure to make of Israel an international pariah, Nagle argues. Plus, the likelihood of success – that is, in destroying or disabling all of Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities so they have nothing to launch on the morning after the attack – is low.

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