News / Middle East

Analysts Examine Chances of Israeli Strike Against Iran's Nuclear Program

Cover of 'The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America And The Rumors Of War'
Cover of 'The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America And The Rumors Of War'
Jennifer Glasse

As Iran prepares to meet with the the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, the U.S., China, the UK, France, plus Germany - on its controversial nuclear program, a new book explores the linkages between the Iran nuclear situation, Israel and the United States. Our reporter spoke to one of the authors and reports from London

Dana Allin is a fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies here in London. A new book he has co-authored,  titled The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America And The Rumors Of War, says Iran's nuclear program is at the heart of America's sixth post Cold War crisis in the Middle East.

"The fundamental problem here is Iran's reckless march towards a nuclear capability, which is not to say we know for sure that Iran has decided to build nuclear weapons, but it has certainly decided to give itself  the nuclear technology that would, you know, put it a short distance from that," said Allin.

Allin says U.S. President Barack Obama is faced with a dilemma; how to make progress on a settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians while also addressing Iran's nuclear program.

"The administration needs Israel to trust it on Iran but also needs to confront Israel on Palestine and this has become a highly politicized connection," he said.

Analyst Barak Seener with London's Royal United Services Institute, believes Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran's fledgling nuclear program.

"The United States is geared toward diplomacy, while the Israel is geared towards a military strike because Israel does not believe that sanctions have any teeth," said Seener.

Allin is not so sure an Israeli strike is inevitable.

"Sometimes the most difficult intelligence targets are your closest allies," said Allin. "I mean no one really knows what Israel is going to do about this. Israel itself probably doesn't know. The Israeli leaders themselves probably don't know."

Israelis, he says, are divided.

"Some say impossible, Israel would not do it without an American green light, others say if Prime Minister Netanyahu really felt it was his historical duty to deal with this problem, he would do it no matter what the Americans said," informed Allin.

Allin says it may be a couple of years before Iran can produce a nuclear weapon. Seener says Iran has definitely passed a nuclear threshold that will allow it to have weapons. When Israel might act is less clear he says.

"I don't think anybody, I don't even think Israel's prime minister can identify timing," he said. "I think that they just identify that they're on a trajectory.

Allin is not sure that trajectory is a military one, and says even the United States doesn't know.

Iran's foreign minister says his country has agreed to talks with the five countries in the UN Security Council, Russia, the USA, China, the UK,  and France, known as the P5 plus Germany. Seener says it's a stalling tactic.

"This is Iran's attempt once again to play the international community at P5 +1 and Israel sees right through it, the question is, does the United States," said Seener. "At this stage Israel may not even care for that response because it might go it alone."

Analysts say the consequences of an Israeli military strike on Iran are likely to include a rise in oil prices and retaliatory attacks on Israel by Iran's proxies in Lebanon and Gaza, as well as attacks on US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid