Broken Record: Israeli official says 3 years to stop Iran

(Reuters) – The United States and its allies have up to three years to curb Iran’s nuclear programme, which has been set back by technical difficulties and sanctions, a senior Israeli official said on Wednesday.

Saying Iran remained his government’s biggest worry, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon did not mention possible unilateral military strikes by Israel, saying he hoped U.S.-led action against Tehran would be successful.

For as long as anyone can remember, Israel has been telling anyone who will listen (still a surprisingly large number, considering how wrong they’ve been) that Iran is around the corner from a nuclear weapons capability.

Justin Elliott was all over this ridiculousness in his excellent Salon article. And it came up at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies conference that I covered for LobeLog and Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel.

At that conference, neoconservative Washington Times journalist Eli Lake had the best question of the whole two and a half days, on this very subject:

QUESTION: Thank you. This is a question for General Amidror.

Could you comment on why it seems Israeli estimates of the Iranian program have been one to two years away for about 10 years now?

Does this reflect the failure of your analysts or the success of your saboteurs?

Amirdror, ever the diplomatic general, answered “both.”

Back to Yaalon’s latest prediction. Reuters puts Israel’s Deputy PM’s views in context:

Yaalon had previously been hawkish on Iran, saying Israel, believed to have region’s only nuclear arsenal, should attack Iran rather than see it get the bomb.

All the prognosticating makes me want to take odds. But I’m afraid Yaalon might get the wrong idea if I asked, “Who wants to take this action?”

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.



  1. In 1995 Richard Perl wrote the white paper for the Likud party of Israel. The white paper was called “Clean Break”. Richard Perl was an official with the USA defense department which should get the attention of everyone who cannot understand why an USA official would be writing a positional paper for a major Israel political party and especially on like the Likud of being a terrorist organization once known as the Stern gang. The white paper called for regime changes in Syria, Iran, Iraq and military invasion of Lebanon and the attack on Gaza. Richard Perl made millions off his pushing for the fiasco of Iraq and later he became a major player in the oil industry of Iraq. The present cry to attack Iran is just following the white paper in which Israel was to get involved in everyones business. Why Israel feels it has the right to get involved in other nations business is questionable but it is clear that defense of the homeland is not the reason. One has to look at the profit that Richard Perl and so many others made in the fiasco in Iraq to wonder if all of Israel politics is basically to make money at any expense. After all the USA pays all the bills for Israel so why worry about something like costs. New York city just suffered a major snow storm and a few died by the disgraceful government response. The mayor and so many are have no problem with sending so much of our resources to support their love Israel that they have to be questioned at the disgraceful lack of response to the snow. Yes I believe that not funding programs like preparation for snow in New York is a failure on the official who so many jumped and waved the flag of approval when Israel bombed the woman and children of Gaza. Did they not think that money sent to Israel caused cuts to programs for the people of the USA?
    I do.


    “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary.”

    – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

  3. The Israelis are not afraid of any Iranian nuclear bomb. Israel has 200 of them. What the Israelis hate is losing the “crazy card” they like to play. They want Iran to live in fear and not carry out foreign policy, but if Iran had a nuclear deterent it could rest assured Israel would not nuke it when Hezbollah starts kicking the crap out of the IDF again the next time Israelis decide to start slaughtering Palestinians to shore up political support before the next election.

    Iran is a sane, rational, shrewd and patient regional power. If it takes Iran 10 years to make a bomb, they don’t care. It is the U.S., through the foolishness of our politicians, that is growing weaker.

    America will not go to war with Iran because it can’t afford to. If Israel did not have unlimited U.S. support there would be peace. But Israel feels it does not have to negotiate anything. This attitude is harming its interests.

    People used to think Israelis were shrewd. It seems their decision to rely on force will one day prove to have been a big mistake.

    They have undertaken a brutal 40-year occupation to ethnically cleanse Palestinian lands. In the end they will regret trying to steal others’ lands, but right now their politicians do not want to admit that all the murder committed was a mistake, so they try to make this issue intersect with national security, but everybody knows the truth.

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