Ioannis Michaletos
(RIEAS Analyst and Coordinator for the World Security Network Foundation Southeastern Europe Office)


Over the past few weeks more data came to surface that relay around the increased probability of an attack against Iran in the short-term period.

A recent Stratfor report dealing with the issue, amongst other provides a crucial aspect, " The Jerusalem Post, in covering these events, pointedly referred to an article it had published in May saying that Israeli intelligence had changed its forecast for Iran passing a nuclear threshold — whether this was simply the ability to cause an explosion under controlled conditions or the ability to produce an actual weapon was unclear — to 2008 rather than 2009"

The above correlate with the intelligence estimate the RIEAS Institute based in Athens-Greece, made in early May by stating that "2008 is the year allegedly Iran acquires the ability of producing its first nuclear weapon."  RIEAS OSINT report on the Lebanon crisis,

As it can be easily understood the major probability that Teheran will have at its disposal the A-bomb in just a few months from now; provides the strongest impetus for an eventual Israeli strike against its nuclear facilities.

Moreover, the latest news broadcasts from North Korea, transmit a breakthrough on the country's stance relating to nuclear proliferation. Although not much has really being available to the public, it is obvious that the government of this isolationist country has decided to abandon to a great extent its nuclear program thus leaving from the black list of the "Axis of evil", a neo-term that was coined by President Bush in 2002. Thus from the original group of N. Korea, Iraq, Iran only the latter remains.

That actually means that Iran stands to become an easier target in terms of publicity against its nuclear program, since it is the only country that remains adamant in changing that course.

The ex-Mossad Head, Shabtai Shavit gave an interview to the Sunday Telegraph claiming that Israel has the time space of just one year to destroy the Iranian nuclear sites. Moreover he stated that “The time that is left to be ready is getting shorter all the time”.

Shavit was a deputy director when Isreal hit the Osirak facility in 1981 and is currently an influential adviser to the Israeli parliament's defence and foreign affairs committee.,-warns-ex-spy.html

The aforementioned estimations fit perfectly with the recent statements by John Bolton the former U.S. undersecretary of state and ambassador to the United Nations.

In an interview to the Interfax he mentioned “if Israel decides to use force against Iran, it will not do so before the U.S. presidential election......However, the Israelis will feel more secure at the time when President Bush is still in the White House". Therefore according to Bolton's calculations an attack would be most probable between early November 2008 and early January 2009.

Lastly the exercise of the Israeli airforce with more than 100 fighter jets and helicopters that took place between 28th of May and 12th of June in the Eastern Mediterranean and Greece, involved according to many estimations by USA military experts and unofficial remarks by analysts, a final rehearsal of the attack against Iran.

If that is valid, then an attack must be closer than originally thought since any rehearsal is always followed quickly by action so as for the lessons learned to be implemented before the opponent prepares itself for an attack or any sensitive information becomes widely available.

In general there is a sentiment towards the start of a military strike by Israel against the Iranian nuclear facilities in the next 6 months or so.

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