According to unnamed officials quoted by Israel’s Channel 10, President Obama is planning to inform Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his intention to attack Iran this summer, with June beginning the “window of opportunity” for his next war.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press conference earlier today that time is “running out” for diplomacy, and it seems that the next P5+1 talks are being set up as the “last chance” for Iran to give in to assorted US demands before being attacked.
President Obama will reportedly inform Israel of this decision during his upcoming visit next month, and will ask Netanyahu to “sit tight” and stop talking up the war for a few months until the US can get it off the ground unilaterally.
The US has been setting the stage for a June war since last year, when Obama had likewise reassured Israel in the lead-up to elections that a US war would be launched by June 2013, an effort to keep Israel from starting the war ahead of the US vote.
It should be noted that a June war would be extremely problematic on a number of levels, including Iran having a June 14 presidential election to replace outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Moreover, previous reports of a “war date” being set by the administration have not panned out.
Netanyahu has been making much of the “red line” of Iran’s civilian enrichment program growing more efficient, despite the UN confirming that Iran keeps diverting the civilian uranium to civilian uses and the stockpile is not getting considerably larger than its been. He has presented summer as a likely time to start a war, and any US pledge might be designed more to placate him than around any intention to actually go through with it.
Most of Iran’s uranium is enriched to 3.5 percent, for the Bushehr electricity plant, while a small fraction is further enriched to 20 percent, the level needed for the US-built Tehran Research Reactor, which makes medical isotopes.
Indeed, US intelligence agencies have repeatedly conceded in “threat assessments” that Iran’s program is purely civilian and that there is “no decision” by Iran to even attempt to make a nuclear weapon. A recent poll has shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans have been convinced by politicians that Iran’s program is a “threat” to American interests, though polls have generally shown a strong opposition to starting a war over the matter.