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Israel Warns Ross: We May Attack Iran


Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on Monday said that while Israel was interested in exhausting diplomatic options against Iran's nuclear program, the army must nevertheless prepare itself for a military attack....

During a visit to Washington, D.C., Ashkenazi met with Dennis Ross, the designated U.S. envoy to the Persian Gulf, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the Iranian issue.

The IDF chief told Ross that Israel would not tolerate a nuclear Iran. He said that a diplomatic approach to Iran's contentious nuclear program must be taken first, but said Israel must also prepare for other possibilities.

As always, it's impossible to know whether this is a) something the Israelis are really getting ready to do, b) a bluff to intimidate the Iranians, or c) some of both.

At the moment, the more interesting question may be what Ross and Clinton said in response.  

P.S. One hint may come from last week's warning from Joint Chiefs chairman Mike Mullen that an Israeli attack would destabilize the wider Middle East and place the lives of US troops in Iraq at greater risk.

--Michael Crowley