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Netanyahu Tells America It's Now Or Never

Geoffrey Ingersoll

Netanyahu has drawn a line in the sand, only this time, it's for the U.S.

According to a Maariv report, when speaking to a visiting delegation from the American Jewish Committee, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was simply not strong enough to force a halt to Iran's nuclear enrichment program. In order to halt the program, Bibi said, the U.S. would have to strike, and they must do so this year.


"The sanctions are only likely to stop Iran if there is a credible (military) threat over their head ... and in order for it to be a credible threat, you need to mean it, meaning that if the sanctions don't work – and they haven't until now – you will use it," he said.

He followed this up by saying that 2013 would be the last year America could effectively put an end to Iran's nuclear program. If not, they would get their hands on enriched uranium and build a bomb in "a short time" according to Netanyahu.

Others seem to think a strike would be ineffective.

An AP article published late last year covered a report compiled by the nation's top national security experts and former military commanders. The report indicated that a "surgical strike" would only set back Iran's nuclear capability.

"You can't kill intellectual power," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Frank Kearney, former deputy director at the National Counterterrorism Center and former deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command  who endorsed the report.

Going a step further, the analysis says what would be needed to truly reform Iran's nuclear aspirations would equate to full ground war — something the U.S. is unlikely to engage in.

Then there's the perception of attacking yet another Muslim country.

From the AP:

"Planners and pundits ought to consider that the riots and unrest following a Web entry about an obscure film are probably a fraction of what could happen following a strike – by the Israelis or U.S. – on Iran," retired Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, an endorser of the Iran report and a former operations chief for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview.

Since the report came out just days following Benghazi, it was largely missed by the world press.  Nonetheless, Iran's nuclear aspirations worry the international community, regardless of what their stated purposes are.

Even if Netanyahu's apocalyptic nuclear Iran claims sound quite similar (actually, identical) to claims made in the early 2000s ... and the 90s ... and the 80s ... finding a solution to balancing Iran's pursuit of dual use technology with that of international security seems imperative — especially considering the achievement becomes more likely as technology in general advances.

That is, unless the world is okay with another long-term ground war.

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