Saturday, November 7, 2009

"If Current Trends Continue, an Israeli Strike Will Be Inevitable"

Tweet It!

Sky News

Israel's threat of military action against Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme is not a bluff, the country's deputy foreign minister has told Sky News. Danny Ayalon issued the warning in the same week America and the UN called on the Islamic Republic to swiftly accept an offer from Western nations to export its uranium and have it processed abroad. "The one who's bluffing is Iran, which is trying to play with cards they don't have," he said. "All the bravado that we see and the testing and the very dangerous and harsh rhetoric is hiding a lot of weaknesses." Mr Ayalon accused Iran of stalling tactics, saying: "If Iranian behaviour and conduct continues as they have exhibited so far, it is obvious that their intentions are only to buy time and procrastinate." The minister also refused to rule out the use of military options by Israel or other nations against Iran if other measures fail. Israel and America do not accept Tehran's claims its nuclear programme is only for civilian purposes. Israeli analysts say the country is finalising its plans to attack Iran if necessary. Dr Ronen Bergman, author of The Secret War With Iran, said if current trends continue, an Israeli strike will be inevitable.

"If history continues on its current path - yes, at the end of the day, Israel will attack," he said. "The Iranians have expressed no willingness to stop the project. They see it as a necessity as an insurance policy for the regime to have the bomb." The challenges of carrying out such a strike 1,000 miles from home against well-defended, deeply-buried nuclear facilities are considerable. But so are the risks - Israel could expect a counter attack from Iranian allies, Hizbollah and Hamas, and terrorist attacks worldwide. It would incur the wrath of America and the condemnation of European allies. It would also risk handing Iran the moral high ground and giving the Islamic Republic an excuse for pursuing the bomb in earnest. But observers in the Middle East believe all those considerations are secondary to the Israeli government's top priority. "Israel is a tiny country. Israel cannot even sustain even one nuclear blast," said Dr Bergman. "Therefore from the Israeli point of view the only way to combat it is not by a balance of deterrence but by preventing the other side from having it in the first place."