Nuclear Weapon


 Iran struck a historic deal Sunday with the United States and five other world powers, agreeing to a temporary freeze of its nuclear program in the most significant agreement between Washington and Tehran in more than three decades of estrangement.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani endorsed the agreement, which commits Iran to curb its nuclear activities for six months in exchange for limited and gradual sanctions relief, including access to $4.2 billion from oil sales. The six-month period will give diplomats time to negotiate a more sweeping agreement.

It builds on the momentum of the public dialogue opened during September’s annual U.N. gathering, which included a 15-minute phone conversation between President Barack Obama and moderate-leaning Rouhani, who was elected in June.

The package includes freezing Iran’s ability to enrich uranium at a maximum 5 percent level, which is well below the threshold for weapons-grade material and is aimed at easing Western concerns that Tehran could one day seek nuclear arms.

Obama hailed the pact’s provisions, which include curbs on Iran’s enrichment and other projects that could be used to make nuclear arms, as key to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear threat.

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“Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb,” he told reporters in Washington.

For Iran, keeping the enrichment program active was a critical goal. Iran’s leaders view the country’s ability to make nuclear fuel as a source of national pride and an essential part of its insistence at nuclear self-sufficiency.

Giving up too much on the enrichment program would have likely brought a storm of protest by Iranian hard-liners, who were already uneasy over the marathon nuclear talks and Rouhani’s outreach to Washington.

In a nationally broadcast speech, Rouhani said the accord recognizes Iran’s “nuclear rights” even if that precise language was kept from the final document because of Western resistance.

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“No matter what interpretations are given, Iran’s right to enrichment has been recognized,” said Rouhani, who later posed with family members of nuclear scientists killed in slayings in recent years that Iran has blamed on Israel and allies.

Saying “trust is a two-way street,” Rouhani insisted that talks on a comprehensive agreement should start immediately.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who led his country’s delegation, called on both sides to see the agreement as an “opportunity to end an unnecessary crisis and open new horizons.”

But initial reaction in Israel was strongly negative. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called the deal, a “historic mistake.”

Speaking to his Cabinet, Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel is not bound by the deal and reserves the right to defend itself. That is a reference to possible military action against Iran.

Netanyahu has said the international community is giving up too much to Iran, which it believes will retain the ability to produce a nuclear weapon and threaten Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who joined the final negotiations along with the foreign ministers of Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, said the pact will make U.S. allies in the Middle East, including Israel, safer reducing the threat of war.

“Agreement in Geneva,” he tweeted. “First step makes world safer. More work now.”

The deal marks a milestone between the two countries, which broke diplomatic ties 34 years ago when Iran’s Islamic revolution climaxed in the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Since then, relations between the two countries had been frigid to hostile.

Although the deal lowered tensions between the two countries, friction points remain — notably Iran’s support of the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. The United States also has said Iran supports terrorism throughout the region and commits widespread human rights violations.

The Geneva negotiations followed secret face-to-face talks between the U.S. and Iran over the past year, The Associated Press has learned. The discussions, held in the Persian Gulf nation of Oman and elsewhere, were kept hidden even from America’s closest allies, including its negotiating partners and Israel, until two months ago.

A White House statement said the deal limits Iran’s existing stockpiles of enriched uranium, which can be turned into the fissile core of nuclear arms.

The statement also said the accord curbs the number and capabilities of the centrifuges used to enrich and limits Iran ability to “produce weapons-grade plutonium” from a reactor in the advanced stages of construction.

The statement also said Iran’s nuclear program will be subject to “increased transparency and intrusive monitoring.”

“Taken together, these first step measures will help prevent Iran from using the cover of negotiations to continue advancing its nuclear program as we seek to negotiate a long-term, comprehensive solution that addresses all of the international community’s concerns,” said the statement.

Since it was revealed in 2003, Iran’s enrichment program has grown from a few dozen enriching centrifuges to more than 18,000 installed and more than 10,000 operating. The machines have produced tons of low-enriched uranium, which can be turned into weapons grade material.

Iran also has stockpiled almost 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of higher-enriched uranium in a form that can be converted more quickly to fissile warhead material than the low-enriched uranium. Its supply is nearly enough for one bomb.

In return for Iran’s nuclear curbs, the White House statement promised “limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible (sanctions) relief” to Iran, noting that “the key oil, banking, and financial sanctions architecture, remains in place.” And it said any limited sanctions relief will be revoked and new penalties enacted if Iran fails to meet its commitments.

Kerry said the relief offered would give Iran access to $4.2 billion from oil sales. Approximately $1.5 billion more would come from imports of gold and other precious metals, petrochemical exports and Iran’s auto sector, as well as easier access to “humanitarian transactions.”

“The core sanctions architecture … remains firmly in place through these six months, including with respect to oil and financial services,” Kerry said. He said those sanctions will result in more than $25 billion in lost oil revenues over six months.

Those conditions are being highlighted by the U.S. administration in its efforts to demonstrate that Iran is still in pain. The administration has urged Congress to hold off on any new sanctions and give the accord a chance to prove its worth.

But one influential member of Congress was quick to criticize the deal.

Rep. Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed “serious concerns,” saying the United States was “relieving Iran of the sanctions pressure built up over years,” while allowing Tehran to “keep the key elements of its nuclear weapons-making capacity.”

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Obama hailed the deal as putting “substantial limitations” on a nuclear program that the United States and its allies fear could be turned to nuclear weapons use.

“While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal,” Obama said. “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.”

Iran’s currency, the rial, got a small boost after news of the deal, strengthening to about 29,000 rials against the U.S. dollar, compared with about 29,950 in recent days.

 

By  John Heilprin and Jamey Keaten. Geneva/ AP, Nov.24, 2013

Associated Press writers George Jahn and Deb Riechmann in Geneva, Julie Pace in Washington, Robert H. Reid in Berlin and Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report. 

 European Union embassies in the North Korea will remain open for business, despite a proposal from Pyongyang for them to evacuate staff over mounting tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the UK’s Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

Diplomats Staying Put, EU Tells North Korea

“The EU does not share the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) views on the current situation and does not recognize the nature of threat as described,” the EU statement read.

North Korea proposed on Tuesday that foreign embassies evacuate, saying it could not guarantee their safety after April 10.

There have been no evacuations, however.

The North Korean proposal came shortly after the isolated north-east Asian country threatened to launch nuclear attacks on both the US mainland and American military bases in the region.

South Korea’s foreign minister said on Wednesday Pyongyang could carry out a test firing of an intermediate-range ballistic missile at any time.

 

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The North Korean threats came as US and South Korean forces carried out annual joint military exercises, some of them near the maritime border between the two Koreas. The United States responded by deploying F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and B-2 and B-52 bombers to the region.

Analysts say North Korea is unlikely to launch a full-scale attack on either US forces or South Korea, but concerns persist that rising tensions could spark hostilities.

 © RIA Novosti ,Moscow, April 10, 2013)

South Korea will strike back if the North stages any attack on its territory, the new president warned on Monday, as tensions ratcheted higher on the Korean peninsula amid shrill rhetoric from Pyongyang and the U.S. deployment of radar-evading fighters.

South Korean soldiers take part in a military exercise, near the demilitarized zone in Paju

 

North Korea says the region is the brink of a nuclear war in the wake ofUnited Nations sanctions imposed for its February nuclear test and a series of joint U.S. and South Korean military drills that have included a rare U.S. show of aerial power.

North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea in response to what it termed the “hostile” military drills being staged in the South.
A South Korean soldier patrols as trucks leave the South's CIQ office in Paju, to go to Kaesong in the North

But there have been no signs of unusual activity in the North’s military to suggest an imminent aggression, a South Korean defense ministry official said last week.

“If there is any provocation against South Korea and its people, there should be a strong response in initial combat without any political considerations,” President Park Geun-hye told the minister of defense and senior officials at a meeting on Monday.

The South has changed its rules of engagement to allow local units to respond immediately to attacks, rather than waiting for permission from Seoul.

Stung by criticism that its response to the shelling of a South Korean island in 2010 was too slow, Seoul has threatened to target North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and to destroy statues of the ruling Kim dynasty in the event of any new attack, a plan that has outraged Pyongyang.

Seoul and its ally the United States played down Saturday’s statement from the official KCNA news agency as the latest in a stream of tough talk from Pyongyang.

North Korea stepped up its rhetoric in early March, when U.S. and South Korean forces began annual military drills that involved the flights of U.S. B-2 stealth bombers in a practice run, prompting the North to puts its missile units on standby to fire at U.S. military bases in the South and in the Pacific.

The United States also deployed F-22 stealth fighter jets on Sunday to take part in the drills. The F-22s were deployed in South Korea before, in 2010.

On its part, North Korea has canceled an armistice agreement with the United States that ended the Korean War and cut all hotlines with U.S. forces, the United Nations and South Korea.

CALLS FOR RESTRAINT

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said North Korea’s announcement that it was in a state of war followed a “familiar pattern” of rhetoric.

Russia, which has often balanced criticism of North Korea, a Soviet-era client state, with calls on the United States and South Korea to refrain from belligerent actions, said a recurrence of war was unacceptable.

“We hope that all parties will exercise maximum responsibility and restraint and no one will cross the point of no return,” Grigory Logvinov, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official, told Interfax news agency.

France said it was deeply worried about the situation on the Korean peninsula while NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said the alliance hoped “that this is more posturing than a prelude to any armed hostilities.”

Even the new pope has joined in the calls for peace.

China has repeatedly called for restraint on the peninsula.

However, many in South Korea have regarded the North’s willingness to keep open the Kaesong industrial zone, located just a few miles (km) north of the heavily-militarized border and operated jointly by both sides, as a sign that Pyongyang will not risk losing a lucrative source of foreign currency by mounting a real act of aggression.

The Kaesong zone is a vital source of hard currency for the North and hundreds of South Korean workers and vehicles enter daily after crossing the armed border.

South Korean soldiers keep watch on the north at the "Truce Village" of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone in Paju

It was still open on Monday despite threats by Pyongyang to shut it down.

“If the puppet traitor group continues to mention the Kaesong industrial zone is being kept operating and damages our dignity, it will be mercilessly shut off and shut down,” KCNA quoted an agency that operates Kaesong as saying in a statement.

Closure could also trap hundreds of South Korean workers and managers of the more than 100 firms that have factories there.

The North has previously suspended operations at the factory zone at the height of political tensions with the South, only to let it resume operations later.

 

* Reuters (april 1, 2013)

(Additional reporting by Paul Eckert in WASHINGTON; Editing by David Chance and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

The Pentagon announced Friday it will spend $1 billion to add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based missile defense system, responding to what it called faster-than-anticipated North Korean progress on nuclear weapons and missiles.

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Threats will only “further isolate” North Korea, Carney says

Citing a “series of irresponsible and reckless provocations” by Pyongyang, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he is determined to ensure protection of the U.S. homeland and stay ahead of the North Korean missile threat.

“We will strengthen our homeland defense, maintain our commitment to our allies and partners, and make clear to the world that the United States stands firm against aggression,” Hagel told a Pentagon news conference.

The Pentagon intends to add the 14 interceptors to 26 already in place at Fort Greely, Alaska. That will expand the system’s ability to shoot down long-range missiles in flight before they could reach U.S. territory. In addition to those at Greely, the U.S. also has four missile interceptors at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, March 15, 2013. / AP Photo/Cliff Owen

James Miller, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said the project would cost about $1 billion. CBS News correspondent David Martin reported that how much added security that will buy is subject to debate, since the interceptors have an uneven test record.

“The reason we’re advancing our program here for homeland security is to not take any chances, is to stay ahead of the threat and to assure any contingency,” Hagel said.

The Pentagon announced on March 15, 2013 it will spend $1 billion to add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based missile defense system, responding to what it called faster-than-anticipated North Korean progress on nuclear weapons and missiles.

Martin also reported that U.S. intelligence does not believe North Korea yet has a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching the U.S. But a photo of a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile in a military parade last year heightened concerns they are working hard to develop one.

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Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said North Korea could have an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) by 2016, added Martin, but the extra interceptor missiles to shoot it down won’t all be in place until 2017.

Miller and Hagel said the U.S. will conduct environmental studies on three additional potential locations for interceptors in the United States, including on the East Coast, as required by Congress. Hagel said no decision on a particular site has been made, but the studies would shorten the timeline should a decision be made.

Miller said that would provide options for building an interceptor base on the East Coast or adding more interceptors in Alaska, should either approach become necessary due to further future increases in the threat from Iran and North Korea.

The threat of a missile strike from North Korea was the rationale for building the missile defense sites in Alaska and California during the administration of President George W. Bush. Technical difficulties with the interceptors slowed the pace at which they were installed at Greely and Vandenberg.

“Our policy is to stay ahead of the threat — and to continue to ensure that we are ahead of any potential future Iranian or North Korean ICBM capability,” Miller said in a speech Tuesday at the Atlantic Council.

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Miller noted that last December, North Korea launched a satellite into space, demonstrating its mastery of some of the same technologies required for development of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

“Our concern about Pyongyang’s potential ICBM capability is compounded by the regime’s focus on developing nuclear weapons,” he said. “North Korea’s third nuclear test last month is obviously a serious concern for all nations.”

North Korea recently threatened to reduce Seoul to a “sea of fire” and stage pre-emptive nuclear attacks on Washington.

“North Korea’s shrill public pronouncements underscore the need for the U.S. to continue to take prudent steps to defeat any future North Korean ICBM,” Miller said in his speech Tuesday.

In this handout image provided by the German Bundeswehr armed forces a patriot missile is fired during the Operation Red Arrow exercise on October 15, 2008 in Crete, Greece. Germany’s cabinet agreed on Thursday to send Patriot missiles and up to 400 soldiers to Turkey to act as a deterrent against any spread of the conflict in Syria across the border. (Photo by Peter Mueller/Bundeswehr via Getty Images)* CBS (March 15, 2013)

IF it hadn’t been for the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Mitt Romney probably wouldn’t be giving a speech on foreign policy in the waning weeks of this election season. But Mr. Romney sensed an opening in President Obama’s missteps in Libya, and on Monday he plans to lay out his case that he will be a better steward of America’s national security.

For an American public fixated on the economy, another Romney valedictory on the advantages of not being Barack Obama will be a waste of time. Americans feel more comfortable when they have a sense of the candidate’s vision, because it gives them a clearer road map for the future.

Mr. Romney must articulate his vision of America’s place in the world in a way that makes sense not only to the American people, but to friends and foes alike. There is a case to be made for a contrast with Mr. Obama. But, thus far, no Republican leader has made it.

Mr. Romney needs to persuade people that he’s not simply a George W. Bush retread, eager to go to war in Syria and Iran and answer all the mail with an F-16. He needs to understand that even though Mr. Obama’s so-called pivot to Asia is more rhetorical flourish than actual policy, it responds to a crying need.

Any new vision for American greatness in the world must flow from an understanding of how the country has changed since 2001. We are still one of the richest nations on earth, but Americans are poorer, war-weary and irritated with what appears to be the ingratitude of nations for which we have sacrificed a great deal in blood and treasure. There are substantial wings of both the Democratic and Republican parties that wish to wash their hands of the world’s troubles.

In that environment, Mr. Romney must give a clear explanation of how American power since the end of World War II provided the foundation for the most prosperous and successful era in human history; how our domination of the world’s most trafficked waterways has permitted the flourishing of trade; and how exporting our principles of political and economic freedom has opened and nourished markets that buy American goods, employ American workers and allow Americans to enjoy an unmatched level of security.

More important, Americans must know that it is not for mercantile benefits alone that the United States has exerted its leadership. It is because there is no other power, and no other people, that can — or, if able, would — exert the benign influence that has characterized our role in the world. Whether you like the Iraq war or hate it; like the battle in Afghanistan or not; believe in the ouster of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi or revile it — in no case has the United States intervened for malevolent purposes.

Unfortunately, Mr. Romney hasn’t made that claim. Instead, when asked for specifics, he has outlined an Iran policy that doesn’t differ markedly from Mr. Obama’s. When pressed on what he would do differently in Syria, he has trodden so carefully that he has found himself to the left of his party’s internationalist wing. And he has doubled down on the notion that Russia remains a geostrategic threat, without presenting any persuasive evidence that it is.

It’s not that Mr. Romney does not or cannot offer a more compelling vision of American leadership. Having heard him speak privately, and having met him on a few occasions, I believe he has one. Now is the moment to show it.

Mr. Romney must make clear that he has a strategic view of American power that is different from the Obama administration’s narrow and tactical approach. He must tell Americans that he won’t overlook terrorist threats, as the Obama administration did in Benghazi; that he won’t fight to oust a dictator in Libya and ignore the pleas of another revolution in Syria; that he won’t simply denounce Iran’s nuclear program while tacitly legitimizing the country’s theocratic regime and ignoring its opponents; and that he won’t hand out billions of dollars in aid and debt forgiveness to Egypt’s new leaders when the principles of religious and political freedom are being trampled in the streets of Cairo.

Clearly America cannot do everything. But we must always champion our founding beliefs and reject the moral, political and cultural relativism that has flourished under Mr. Obama.

Mr. Romney can make the case that when people fight for their freedom, they will find support — sometimes political, sometimes economic and sometimes military — from the American president. When Russians and Chinese demand accountability from their governments, we can stand with them and work with their governments to further common interests. When terrorists target us, we will not simply eliminate them with drones while ignoring the environment that breeds them. And when our allies look to us for support, we will help them fight for themselves.

Criticisms of Mr. Obama’s national security policies have degenerated into a set of clichés about apologies, Israel, Iran and military spending. To be sure, there is more than a germ of truth in many of these accusations. But these are complaints, not alternatives. Worse yet, they betray the same robotic antipathy that animated Bush-haters. “I will not apologize for America” is no more a clarion call than “let’s nation-build at home.”

Mr. Romney must put flesh on the bones of his calls for a renewed American greatness. With a vision for American power, strategically and judiciously applied, we can continue to do great things with fewer resources. The nation’s greatest strength is not its military power or fantastic productivity. It’s the American commitment to our founding principles of political and economic freedom. If Mr. Romney can outline to voters how he will use American power to advance those principles, he will go a long way in persuading them he deserves the job of commander in chief.

* Text by Danielle Pletka is the vice president for foreign and defense studies at the American Enterprise Institute. (NYT/October 7, 2012)

Dozens of Israelis crowded in front of a storefront at a Jerusalem shopping mall yesterday to pick up new gas masks, part of civil defense preparations in case the military strikes Iran and the Islamic Republic or its allies retaliate.

“Our leaders seem to have gotten very hawkish in their speeches and this time it seems they mean what they say,” said Yoram Lands, 68, a professor of business administration, who was picking up new masks for himself and his wife at a distribution center in the mall.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Aug. 1 that time “is running out” for a peaceful solution to Iran’s atomic program. The Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper reported Aug. 10 that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are considering bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities before U.S. elections on Nov. 6. Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said government policy is not to comment on media speculation.

“It seems that Netanyahu and Barak are making a special effort now to prepare the Israeli public for an attack on Iran,” said Shlomo Brom, a former commander of the army’s Strategic Planning Division, who said that any strike could come within the next six months. In the past, rhetoric was directed at pushing the international community to take stronger action against Iran, said Brom, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

New System

While Israeli leaders repeatedly have said that they could strike Iran’s facilities, the words are now being accompanied by civil defense measures, including a new system that uses text messages to alert the public to missile attacks, wider distribution of gas masks and the appointment of a new Home Front Defense minister. The threats also come as nuclear talks between Iran and world powers have stalled and increased sanctions have so far failed to stop Iran’s atomic progress.

Concern that the Israeli moves may herald a possible strike helped weaken the shekel to its lowest value in almost 15 months this week, sent government benchmark bond yields climbing and pushed the Tel Aviv Stock Market (TA-25) to a three-week low on Aug. 13. The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index of the most-traded Israeli companies in New York sank the most in three months, making the benchmark gauge the cheapest in two years relative to the Standard & Poor’s 500.

“With the headlines and saber-rattling we’ve had the last week, there is a higher risk premium, so it’s logical you see the currency weaken,” said Jonathan Katz, a Jerusalem-based economist for HSBC Holdings Plc.

Destabilizing Region

U.S. officials, concerned that a conflict could destabilize the region and send oil prices soaring, have been urging caution. Panetta told reporters yesterday that the “window is still open” to resolve the dispute through diplomacy and that he thinks Israel hasn’t made a decision “at this time” to attack Iranian nuclear sites.

“From our point of view, the window is still open to try to work toward a diplomatic solution,” he said during a briefing at the Pentagon outside Washington.

David Rothkopf, a visiting scholar at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said it is “extremely unlikely Israel could do anything without a regional ally or the cooperation of the U.S.”

Iranian officials have dismissed the threats of an attack.

“We don’t think any of the officials in this illegitimate regime wants to do something as illogical as this,” Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, told reporters at a Tehran press conference yesterday. Iran says its nuclear program aims to produce electricity for a growing population.

Tougher Sanctions

Amid earlier Israeli threats, the U.S. and its European allies passed tougher sanctions against Iran that have been taking a toll on the country’s economy.

Iranian oil production has declined 20 percent this year to 2.86 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Crude oil futures in New York have advanced 19 percent in the seven days ending Aug. 7 as Iranian exports have fallen, according to an Aug. 10 report of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitments of Traders.

Prices of meat, rice and bread have spiraled in Iran as inflation accelerated to 22.4 percent in the 12 months through June 20.

There are concerns that repeated Israeli threats to strike Iran may force Israel’s hand if the West doesn’t take more serious action.

 

Third Threat

The Israelis are “almost in the comic situation of threatening to strike repeatedly — this is the third threat in three months — but nothing ever happens, which in my view is damaging to their credibility,” said Aaron David Miller, a former State Department official and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington policy group.

Barak in February said that Israel would need to act militarily within months, before Iran reaches a “zone of immunity” where its underground enrichment facilities would be invulnerable to Israeli air strikes.

Polls show that the Israeli public’s opposition to a strike has been declining. Some 46 percent of Israelis are against an attack on Iran without U.S. support, according to a poll by the Dialog Institute reported on Channel 10 on Aug. 12. That compares with 58 percent opposed to such a move in a survey by Dialog published March 8 in Haaretz. Both surveys questioned 500 Israeli adults.

U.S. presidential elections may influence an Israeli decision.

Israelis “believe there’s a closing window of opportunity and they also believe politically it’s far more complex if they wait until after November to strike,” said David Makovsky, director of research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

‘They’re Concerned’

“I think they’re concerned that if they attack during a lame-duck period they have a lot more uncertainty about American reaction,” he said.

An attack would also come as one of Iran’s closest allies, Syria, is busy battling domestic insurgents who control parts of the country’s cities and countryside. That also has weakened Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, an Iranian ally that depends on Syria for arms and support.

“This is the best window Israel is going to get,” said Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar Ilan University outside Tel Aviv. “If a strike doesn’t happen in the next six months and Iran doesn’t back down, then the Israeli threat will lose its credibility.”

By Calev Ben-David on August 14, 2012

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Words to Think:
if Israel attack Iran, Iran’s nuclear facilities would be damage but at what cost to Israel and will it stop Iran from developing Nukes in the future? It would be a very long war and Israel and US has to occupy Iran. I don’t think US will send their men and women to fight in a ground war in Iran. It already cost US a lot of dead and maimed soldiers when they occupy Iraq which is smaller than Iran. Iran is a lot bigger.I think  Israel should just learn how to live with Nuclear Iran, anyway they have their own NUkes which would serve as deterent. 

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The Israelis Never attact IRAN and this is why…

What the father of nuclear weapon of Pakistan was doing in IRAN from 2005 to 2009??
What the 15 North Korean Missile scientists was doing in IRAN from 2005 to 2010??
Maby IRAN already have the nukes and the missiles to deliver in Tel Aviv And Haifa?? Are the Iranians Waiting the Israelis to make the stupit move first ??
If the Israelis attact first the Iranians have every right to attact Israel in Return. and all the worlds nation will be with them.
The Iranians so far never attacted any nation or threatened. Only the Israelis have bad record for that.. The Iranians said that they will attact Israel if the Israelis attacted them first.
If i was Israeli I will be more  nervous of an Iranian surprise
dont forget that they took over and controlled the spy US plane