Israel's Defense Minister Admits Iran Poses No Nuclear Threat
October 31, 2012
John Glaser / AntiWar.com
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak now agrees with the assessment of Western intelligence organizations that Iran has pulled back its nuclear ambitions by allocating its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes. But despite the absence of any immediate threat -- and despite the fact that 80% of the Israeli population is firmly opposed to an unprovoked Israeli attach on Iran -- Barak still insists on keeping the threat of military action "on the table."
Israeli DM: Iran Has Pulled Back From Nuclear Bomb Goal
John Glaser / AntiWar.com
(October 30, 2012) -- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that Iran has pulled back its nuclear ambitions by allocating its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes earlier this year, but insisted on keeping the threat of military action on the table.
Barak was reiterating official Israeli statements from earlier this month which acknowledged the IAEA's recent findings that Iran on several recent occasions has used the 20 percent enriched uranium -- the highest it has and the portion of the program which most riled hawks in the West -- to manufacture fuel rods for research for cancer treatment.
This use is exactly the use that Iran has stated its 20 percent enriched uranium is for, as opposed to what war-mongers in Israel and the United States claimed it was for, a creeping nuclear weapons program.
Senior Israeli officials said the IAEA's findings matched with their own intelligence and Iran's progress towards nuclear weapons was set back by "eight to ten months." This amount of time is considerable especially when one takes into account the US intelligence consensus which says that Iran had already been up to four years away from having a deliverable nuclear weapon from that point that the decision to develop one was made, which has not happened yet.
Barak offered some elementary analysis: "There could be at least three explanations. One is the public discourse about a possible Israeli or American operation deterred them from trying to come closer," he said.
"It could probably be a diplomatic gambit that they have launched in order to avoid this issue culminating before the American election, just to gain some time. It could be a way of telling the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) ‘oh we comply with our commitments."
However Israeli leaders want to spin it, the fact is that even they now admit that an imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran is nonexistent.
Israel significantly dialed back its war propaganda on Iran in the last couple months. Not only did they seem to lose the diplomatic game with the Obama administration to try and pressure for an American-backed strike, but Israeli elections are coming up and even hawks like Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have to quiet their war mongering to appeal to an Israeli population that overwhelmingly opposes a preventive strike on Iran. [See following story.]
Poll: 80% of Palestinians, Israelis Say
Attack on Iran Would Spark Regional War
John Glaser / AntiWar.com
(October 15, 2012) --Around 80 percent of respondents in a survey of both Israelis and Palestinians say that an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would ignite a major regional war.
The poll was a joint effort of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University, and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.
In this case, public opinion in both Israel and Palestine falls in line with the general consensus in the US military and intelligence community. As a recent report by former government officials, national security experts and retired military officers concluded last month prompt large-scale Iranian retaliation that would spark an uncontrollable regional war.
The assessment is in line with previous estimates of the consequences of an attack. A declassified war simulation run by the Pentagon earlier this year forecasted such a "strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States" and would immediately get at least 200 Americans killed in Iran's retaliation, not to mention heavy Iranian and Israeli casualties.
Iran would probably attack US troops in neighboring Afghanistan, the Navy's Fifth Fleet in nearby Bahrain, and possibly other US assets in the Persian Gulf.
Up to 65 percent of Israelis in the poll said they were against US backing of an Israeli strike on Iran, an increase from 52 percent in June, while only 18 percent of Israelis said they supported an Israeli attack without US backing.
The poll also found that about 70 percent of Israelis and Palestinians believe the chances of establishing a Palestinian state in the next five years were low or nonexistent.
Additionally, 61 percent of Israelis and 52 percent of Palestinians said they support the two-state solution, which generally refers to territorial lines along the pre-1967 borders. Thirty-six percent of Israelis and 46 percent of Palestinians oppose such a settlement.
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