Benny Morris: Historian says Israel will likely attack Iran within 7 months

Historians in the News

ISRAEL will almost surely attack Iran’s nuclear sites in the next four to seven months — and the leaders in Washington and even Tehran should hope that the attack will be successful enough to cause at least a significant delay in the Iranian production schedule, if not complete destruction, of that country’s nuclear program. Because if the attack fails, the Middle East will almost certainly face a nuclear war — either through a subsequent pre-emptive Israeli nuclear strike or a nuclear exchange shortly after Iran gets the bomb.

It is in the interest of neither Iran nor the United States (nor, for that matter, the rest of the world) that Iran be savaged by a nuclear strike, or that both Israel and Iran suffer such a fate. We know what would ensue: a traumatic destabilization of the Middle East with resounding political and military consequences around the globe, serious injury to the West’s oil supply and radioactive pollution of the earth’s atmosphere and water.

But should Israel’s conventional assault fail to significantly harm or stall the Iranian program, a ratcheting up of the Iranian-Israeli conflict to a nuclear level will most likely follow. Every intelligence agency in the world believes the Iranian program is geared toward making weapons, not to the peaceful applications of nuclear power. And, despite the current talk of additional economic sanctions, everyone knows that such measures have so far led nowhere and are unlikely to be applied with sufficient scope to cause Iran real pain, given Russia’s and China’s continued recalcitrance and Western Europe’s (and America’s) ambivalence in behavior, if not in rhetoric. Western intelligence agencies agree that Iran will reach the “point of no return” in acquiring the capacity to produce nuclear weapons in one to four years....
Read entire article at Benny Morris in an op ed in the NYT

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Randll Reese Besch - 7/23/2008

No evidence that Iran is working on anything but a nuclear reactor. Now Isreal is paranoid about anyone else in the area reaching parity with them weapons wise. The fatwa says no nuclear weapons and the IAEA says no nuclear weapons work being done. If it happens it will be because Isreal wants it, promotes it and creates the need for Iran to get a nuclear bomb and use it on Isreal after an illegal attack by them in self defence. Dis- armament all around is the only way to avoid a holocaust for no good reason. That and ending the hatred between them or else no one will come out of the 21st century alive and sane.