Defence officials from both Israel and the US have publicly hosed down speculation that an attack on Iran’s nuclear program is imminent.The Palestinian Chronicle reported that Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has dismissed as recent “delusional” reports regarding the increasing possibility of Tel Aviv launching a military strike against Iran.
This follows reports from various news outlets, and comments from Israeli President Shimon Peres, that an attack on the Islamic Republic is becoming more likely. Following the release of the IAEA’s damning report into Iran’s nuclear program, speculation has been mounting that a strike could be carried out as early as Christmas. Israel is also believed to have test-launched a long range missile within the last week.
Barak’s comments have been backed up by the U.S. Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta, who said that military action would have “unintended consequences” and would only delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions by three years, as reported by BBC News. Iran has stated that their response to such an attack would be crushing, with the potential for all-out-war to spread throughout the region.
The preferred response is a further round of sanctions, but even this seems unlikely as China and Russia will oppose any such move. Russia has even suggested that it is deciding on whether or not to provide additional nuclear reactors to Iran, in addition to the operational reactor they have already provided.
Iran is a signatory on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has repeatedly stated that its nuclear ambitions are peaceful and are focused on generating civilian power.