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It seems unlikely that Israel would attack Iran except perhaps to try to force U.S. to back the attack up with its own attack. It is unlikely that Israel has the capacity to take out Iran's widely dispersed nuclear facilities. If it does attack there is likely to be a very dangerous escalation of hostilities in the Middle East. Iran has the ability to send missiles into Israel. It could also attempt to close the straight of Hormuz. Already oil is soaring partly on the basis of rumours of an attack on Iran.
Pentagon: Israel will soon attack Iran Tue, 01 Jul 2008 11:36:11
senior Pentagon official says there is an 'increasing likelihood' that Israel will launch an attack on Iran before the year's end. The senior defense official pinpointed two 'red lines' that could trigger an Israeli offensive against Iran. He told ABC News that production of enough enriched uranium in Iran's Natanz nuclear facility to fuel a nuclear weapon, which according to Israeli intelligence assessments is likely to happen sometime in 2009, is one of the red lines that would spark an Israeli attack on the country. "The red line is not when they get to that point, but before they get to that point," the official said. He also warned that Israel may decide to strike Iran before the Russian SA-20 air defense systems are installed in Iran as it would make an attack on the country much more difficult. The Pentagon official maintained that a long-range Israeli air force exercise conducted in early June was a training exercise to prepare for a possible attack on Iran. However, the official said he expects to see more such drills before Israel moves closer to launch a military strike on the Islamic Republic. The remarks by the Pentagon official comes amid escalating speculation that Israel is preparing to launch a military strike on Iran with the help of US President George W. Bush before the end of his term in office. Senior Iranian officials and the country's high-ranking military commanders have been on record saying that any attack by any country on Iran would receive the most devastating response imaginable. Iran's top Revolutionary Guards general said Saturday that the entire Israeli territory was within reach of the Islamic Republic's powerful Shahab missiles. Iran has also floated the idea of disrupting the flow of oil through the Hormuz Strait in the Persian Gulf in the event of a US or Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities, which it insists are aimed at peaceful purposes, particularly to meet the country's growing need for electricity. CS/GM