Friday, August 13, 2010

Israel About to Attack Iran? No. Iran About to Get Nuclear Weapons? Also No.

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By Barry Rubin

There's been a new round of speculation on Israel attacking Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent Tehran from getting nuclear weapons. I will repeat my earlier point: This is not about to happen, certainly not in the next year and, in my opinion, better not to happen at all.

Again, Israel will retain its option to attack at a time of its choosing, if and when it feels there is a threat of Iran's actually using nuclear weapons against itself and when its defensive and offensive abilities are at a peak. By the way, the United States is starting to deliver 20 new F-35s, the world's best air superiority fighter plane, after more than five years of discussions. This is another sign that U.S.-Israel relations are going well at present.

For those who want to understand why it's wrong to assume that the issue is simply one of Iran getting nuclear weapons on some given day, see a good analysis by one of the most creative and well-informed arms' control experts.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports, at

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