Tensions between Iran and Israel continue to escalate amid reports over the past week that Tel Aviv has drawn up plans for a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities before the US presidential election in November.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the country’s new ambassador to China, Matan Vilnai, recently discussed precise estimates of Israeli casualties, and the timeframe of a possible war with Iran. A hypothetical war with Iran would probably last a month, and include about 500 estimated Israeli casualties from Iranian missile strikes, Vilnai told Israeli newspaper Maariv on Wednesday.
Though Israel has repeatedly threatened preemptive strikes against Iran over the country’s controversial nuclear program, this latest round of saber-rattling is taking place under slightly different circumstances.
A new, last-minute National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) update provided to the Obama administration mirrored Israeli intelligence that Iran had made bigger nuclear advances than previously thought, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday. Iran’s alleged progress towards nuclear weaponry was “far beyond the scope known” to UN inspectors, the report said.
Haaretz did not name any sources or confirm any information in its report, quoting a senior Israeli official who declined to be identified.
Tel Aviv seems to be taking action in support of its hawkish stance, testing emergency text-messaging services in some cities, and increasing the sale and distribution of gas-masks. Recent polls also suggest that, while domestic Israeli opinion is still opposed to war against Iran without international support, that stance is gradually softening as the government seems to be preparing its citizens for war.
Their last chance to strike
05.08, 12:5138 comments
Israel is upgrading its ‘Arrow II’ missile shield over fears of possible attacks by Iran and Syria. The ‘Block-4’ upgrade is currently being installed and deployed across the country, a senior Israeli defense official said on Sunday.