Israel Senses Bluffing in Iran's Threats of Retaliation

(New York Times) Ethan Bronner - Israeli intelligence estimates, backed by academic studies, have cast doubt on the widespread assumption that a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would set off a catastrophic set of events like a regional conflagration, widespread acts of terrorism and sky-high oil prices. The estimates, which have been largely adopted by the country's most senior officials, conclude that the threat of Iranian retaliation is partly bluff. Conversations with top Israeli security officials suggested: since Israel has been demanding the new sanctions, including an oil embargo and seizure of Iran's Central Bank assets, it will give the sanctions some months to work; the sanctions are viewed here as probably insufficient; a military attack remains a very real option; and post-attack situations are considered less perilous than one in which Iran has nuclear weapons.

2012-01-27 00:00:00

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