Last week in his Washington Post column, David Ignatius wrote that Israel was preparing to attack Iran to prevent it from being able to build a nuclear bomb.
According to his Post opinion page colleague Charles Krauthammer, based on the source behind Ignatius’ claim it is likely an attack will occur.
On this weekend’s broadcast of “Inside Washington,” Krauthammer explained his thought process.
“I think it’s fairly certain the Israelis are going to attack or you would not have had this leak, deliberately coming this week from secretary of Defense through David Ignatius of The [Washington] Post saying that he thinks there is a high likelihood Israel is going to attack, and then he went ahead and specified when. He said three months, April, May or June. And you don’t say that unless there is obviously indications from the Israelis that they are going to do this even if they get and they are getting a signal from the United States not to do it.”
Krauthammer doubted Israel was factoring what impact a strike against Iran might have on upcoming U.S. presidential election.
“No, I think the calculation is what Ignatius reported as Panetta said: The Israelis think that the problem is that Iran is about to enter the zone of immunity. And that means the trigger is not the assumption that Iran now has the know-how to make a bomb. That is later down the road. What comes earlier is when Iran has put enough uranium in completely untouchable, protected sites, like the mountain outside of Qom where you cannot touch it, meaning that at that point, Iran has the wherewithal, the facilities, the material that it can build a bomb unmolested, and then it can never be attacked again. If Israel thinks it is approaching the point of immunity, it will attack.”
Krauthammer reminded viewers that the real threat of escalation would be if the rogue state attempted to block the Strait of Hormuz.
“The Iranian oil is already being cut off,” “The Europeans are not importing it … The Saudis have pledged [because the Saudis are determined to see the Iranian nuclear program wiped out -- they are very upset about this] a replacement for any Iranian oil. So if it’s just Iranian oil, it will have no effect.’
“Question is will they close the Strait of Hormuz, which will shut off everybody’s oil, which as Evan [Thomas] indicates is suicidal if you are the Islamic Republic.’
“The other question is will they attack the United States base in Bahrain, which is also suicidal, cause if you kill a single American, you’re going to bring America into the war and Europe into the war: The Europeans will join as well. So it will be an all out war.’
“I think Evan is right. The rational Iranian response will be to attack Israel and nobody else.”