US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that Israel could attack Iran in the next few months. This follows Israeli reports that Iran has the capability to develop four nuclear bombs and reach the US with a missile strike.
Panetta sees a ‘strong possibility’ of an Israeli strike on Iran in either April, May or June, according to Thursday’s Washington Post. The attack would occur before Iran enters a so-called ‘immunity zone’, when its nuclear facilities will be too heavily fortified for an attack to succeed.
Post columnist’s David Ignatius, who broke the story, believes the overriding fear in Israel is that Iran has come close enough to making a nuke that only the USA will be capable of militarily stopping them.
Ignatuis was once called “mainstream media’s chief apologist for CIA crimes” by Johns Hopkins’ Melvin A. Goodman over the former’s support for US intelligence and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Panetta and the Pentagon declined to comment on the Post’s piece, though Reuters has anonymous confirmation from the White House of the Defense Secretary’s position.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Friday worshippers that “threatening and attacking Iran” would only harm the United States. “In response to threats of oil embargo and war, we have our own threats to impose at the right time," according to the Jerusalem Post.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak also announced late on Thursday that a “nuclear Iran will be more complicated to deal with, more dangerous and more costly in blood than if it is stopped today”. “Whoever says later might find that it will be too late,” Barak added.