Is Israel Again Weighing an Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Facilities?
by TONY KARON
“I think the most effective way to deal with Iran is not on a unilateral basis,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters in Israel on Tuesday, stressing that the Israeli government needed to act in concert and consensus with the international community. Israeli reporters noted his repeated use of the word together when it came to dealing with Iran. Panetta’s comments, coming barely a month after the U.S. reportedly agreed to deliver 55 bunker-busting GBU-28 bombs to Israel, were widely viewed as an “down, boy” message to any adventurist bomb-Iran impulses on the part of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Curiously enough, the very same day, recently retired Mossad chief Meir Dagan also saw fit to publicly tamp down hysteria over Iran’s nuclear progress, and to pour cold water over any “military option” for dealing with it. Dagan, who has previously publicly decried the idea of bombing Iran as “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard” and warned that it could plunge Israel into a conflict it couldn’t win, again publicly pooh-poohed the military option, saying there were more effective ways of dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. And he stressed that Iran was nowhere close to being able to build a bomb. Dagan and the official U.S. intelligence assessment concur that while using its nuclear program to acquire the technological means to build a bomb, the Iranian leadership has not yet taken a strategic decision to actually build such a weapon.