Will Israel really attack Iran within a year?

By Natasha Mozgovaya

After interviewing dozens of Israeli, American and Arab officials, Atlantic Magazine correspondent concludes Israel may not even ask for American ‘green light’ to attack Iran nuclear sites.

Israel might attack Iranian nuclear sites within a year, if Iran stays the current course and the U.S. administration doesn’t succeed in persuading Israel’s leadership that U.S. President Barack Obama is ready to stop Iran by force if necessary, so argues Jeffrey Goldberg in Atlantic magazine’s September cover story, obtained by Haaretz ahead of publication.

(A nuclear reactor in Bushehr, Iran. Photo by: Bloomberg)

Based on dozens of interviews the Atlantic correspondent conducted in recent months with Israeli, American and Arab officials, Goldberg came to the conclusion that the likelihood of an Israeli strike has crossed the 50 percent mark. And Israel might not even ask for the famous “green light” from the U.S. – or even give couple of false pre-attack alerts, so that Washington won’t try to stop the unilateral operation.

“…one day next spring, the Israeli national-security adviser, Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran – possibly by crossing Saudi Arabia, possibly by threading the border between Syria and Turkey, and possibly by traveling directly through Iraq’s airspace, though it is crowded with American aircraft…,” Goldberg paints a possible scenario.

The repercussions of such a strike, which could include the bombing of the Iranian facilities in Natanz, Qom, Esfahan, and maybe even the Russian-built reactor in Bushehr, are less than clear, despite the endless discussions and several simulations. American experts speculate that attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities will only slightly delay the nuclear program, whereas some Israelis, according to Goldberg, are a bit more optimistic, in light of the successful Israeli operations against Iraqi and Syrian reactors in the past. Read more: Haaretz

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