There are so many snippets of rhetoric being reported about Iran, Israel and the U.S. that it’s begun to feel like a middle school circle of “he said, she said.”Piecing together sound bites to form a rough idea of what’s actually going on is about the only option available right now, so when Leon Panetta announced yesterday that he thinks Israel may strike Iran this spring it immediately made the news.
David Ignatius at The Washington Post reported Panetta’s thoughts Thursday when the Secretary of defence said he believed Israel would launch an attack on Iran in April, May or June.
After that, Israel allegedly believes Tehran will enter a “zone of immunity” where they will have enough enriched uranium, stashed in bunkers deep enough, that only U.S. bombs will be able to penetrate and they will be helpless to act on their own.
Ignatius did not cite a source, but reported the news from Brussels where Panetta was attending a NATO defence meeting.
It’s a reasonable argument, bolstered by the fact that Israel cancelled its massive missile defence drill with the U.S., slated for the same period, saying that they couldn’t spare the forces at that time. The drill is said to be back on the books for October.
For its part, Iran is doing nothing to assuage any concerns over its intentions as it launched a satellite into orbit Friday.
Nasser Karimi at the Associated Press reports the launch raises concerns not only for the satellite’s possible military applications, but because the rocket that delivered it uses the same technology as a ballistic missile would use. Say, an inter-continental ballistic missile fitted with a nuclear warhead.
Israel announced Thursday that Iran is developing technology that will enable it to launch such a missile that will reach the continental United States. This satellite launch only reinforces this possibility.
In an official announcement the Iranian supreme leader warned any action against Iran will have dire effects on the U.S.
CNN reports that Iran’s supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameni announced “You see every now and then in this way they say that all options are on the table. That means even the option of war.” During Friday prayers in Tehran, he continued, “This is how they make threats against us.”
“Well, these kinds of threats are detrimental to the U.S.,” he said. “The war itself will be 10 times as detrimental to the U.S.”
The Ayatollah went on to say that Iran pledges its full support to any country or organisation that attacks Israel and that the U.S. and Israel will soon face defeats in a coming “great event.”
In a random aside: A South African telecom is being sued for aiding Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for an exclusive cellular licence within the country.
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