U.S. and Israel split over how much time is left to hit Iran

President Obama tried to defuse arguments for military action in a phone call last month with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, the substance of which was confirmed by an Obama administration official who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to describe the conversation. While the two men have had an often contentious relationship over Middle East diplomacy, American officials emerged from that exchange persuaded that Mr. Netanyahu was willing to give economic sanctions and other steps time to work…

The Israelis have zeroed in on Iran’s plan to put much of its uranium enrichment near the holy city of Qum in an underground facility beneath so many layers of granite that even the Pentagon acknowledges it would be out of the reach of its best bunker-busting bombs. Once enrichment activities are under way at Qum, the Israelis argue, Iran could throw out United Nations inspectors and produce bomb-grade fuel without fear the facility would be destroyed.

At its core, the official said, the argument the Israelis make is that once the Iranians get an “impregnable breakout capability” — that is, a place that is protected from a military strike — “it makes no difference whether it will take Iran six months or a year or five years” to fabricate a nuclear weapon, he said.

The Americans have a very different view, according to a second senior official who has discussed the concept with Israelis. He said “there are many other options” to slow Iran’s march to a completed weapon, like shutting off Iran’s oil revenues, taking out facilities that supply centrifuge parts or singling out installations where the Iranians would turn the fuel into a weapon.


hat tip

Of course the US has a different position since its very existence is not so much in jeopardy as that of Israel. Theoretically, I’m not in favor of a preemptive strike on any nation; but we’re not talking theory here, we’re talking about practical reality and the survival of a small albeit powerful nation. And we can at least hope, in the case of Israel, that if it does bomb Iran, it will target its strikes only against the nuclear sites and not against civilians, even though “collateral damage” is not out of the question.

Israel and the US are pushing the region to the brink of WW3. An attack on Iran or Syria is going to have major repercussions on numerous countries worldwide. My only hope is that if it happens the American people will shutdown are country and demand that the government steps down.

I assumed NYT readers would be relatively informed, but have you read the comments on this article?

They echo Seamus’ “The US and Israel are eeevil” general world view, with a healthy dose of “Blame Booosh” thrown in.

Its an online article, so a link to it could be shared far and wide, attracting a wide range of people who don’t regularly read the NYT. For example, the link was posted here. And Gilliam got the link from a conservative leaning blog site. Who knows what other sites it has been posted to?

As for the daylight between the US and Israel on what to do with Iran, I don’t think this is anything new.

I have to laugh at the claims that Iran’s nuclear program is for the development of energy. They are sitting on massive quantities of natural gas that they burn at the oil pumping well heads as “waste” that could be used to power cheaply built power plants (California has built several since 2003). But instead they are “going nuclear” and spending billions of dollars to create the same electricity years from now?

Isn’t that what the *NY Times *tells their “informed” readers?

It’s more accurate to say that the Likud government and its US supporters are doing that.

[quote=Seamus L]An attack on Iran or Syria is going to have major repercussions on numerous countries worldwide.

Not only that, but on this country as well. Oil north of $200 a barrel and gas at $7 to perhaps $8 a gallon will liquidate the so far feeble economic recovery. Likud supporters in the US have no plan for dealing with the inevitable energy crisis that will arise when they attack Iran. But then, I suspect the American economy is not very high on their list of concerns.

[quote=Seamus L] My only hope is that if it happens the American people will shutdown are country and demand that the government steps down.

I think by then it will be too late.

For one, yes, New York Times readers are almost certainly the most informed newspaper readers in the U.S., but I don’t know what its opinion page had to say on this one.

That the US and Israel are eeevil"with a healthy dose of “Blame Booosh” thrown in.

Even if the Qom nuclear facility is underground, couldn’t they disable it by bombing the entrance and the air intakes?

You are quoting the New York Times here?

The tail wags the dog? I don’t want to see the U.S. involved in any Israel adventure at the bidding of that government.

If that were the case, why are the Israelis asking us permission first?

To cover their backsides would be one reason - “see, we asked first.” :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

No, he was quoting me, particularly in regards to one of the “reader recommended” posts that were so full of historical inaccuracies that I had to look twice.

I understand this is a widely spread article, but you do have to register to post comments. Or recommend them.

To cover their backsides…with whom?

Does Iran care if they ask us permission before acting? They ask because the US usually dictates policy, not the other way around. See “Operation Orchard”, “Operation Orchard”, all done without bringing to the US first.

Wow, I’m really surprised at the total acceptance of an inevitable strike/war against another country. i would have thought Catholics repsect the Just War teachings of the Church. Although I surmise I’ll get the usual verbal gymnastics of how an event that will kill untold amounts of people and almost certainly innocent civilians is just.

We cannot afford anymore unpopular wars in the region at this time.

MSNBC is reporting that Israel is supporting the same Iranian terrorist organization responsible for the embassy attacks and killing of dozens of US service men in order to carry out assassinations for Israel.

This is simply not something that our country can be seen supporting. We either don’t support terror and nations that support terrorism or we do. We can’t say it’s OK for Israel to use terrorists to carry out attacks in Iran, it’s just fundamentally wrong.

Israel knows that Iran is no threat to them, even a nuclear Iran will not attack Israel, the old “mutually assured destruction” thing. Here’s the deal, Israel knows a nuclear Iran means they are no longer the lone big dog in the M.E. and Israel may have to come back to the bargaining table and return lands won in a land grab during war.

If we go to war in Iran let the gays and women fight it since they seem to insist on it, I can only hope men of conscience will say enough is enough and we won’t comply with that order.

Iran is not Syria; Syria’s Al Kibar nuclear reactor is not comparable to what Iran may have. I consider the very notion of Israeli’s asking the U.S. for permission to carry out their aggression to be a sham.

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