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BLITZER'S BLOG: What Israel Really Wants
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
March 5th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: What Israel Really Wants

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) – I’m skeptical that the Israelis are getting ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. In the end, they might do it. But I suspect they are not ready to do so anytime soon.

That’s because they are talking so much about it. If they were really ready to move their F-15s and F-16s and their submarine-launched missiles against targets in Iran, they would be a lot more quiet.

Two historic notes: When the Israelis bombed Syria’s nuclear facility in 2007, they just did it. They didn’t discuss it openly in advance. Few folks even knew that Syria was building such a facility.

The same was the case back in 1981 when the Israelis destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor in Iraq. They just did it without discussing it in advance.

If the Israelis were really getting ready to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, why would they be giving such advance notice to the Iranians to prepare their air-defense systems?

So that raises this question: Why are the Israelis talking about the military option so publicly right now?

I suspect all the talk is designed to put great pressure on the U.S. and the international community to toughen sanctions against Iran dramatically, including an effective halt to Iranian oil exports, which finance the regime.

That’s why the international community recently sanctioned Iran’s Central Bank, which handles oil export financial transactions.

The Israelis probably have one more objective.

If the sanctions don’t result in U.N. nuclear inspectors coming back in and the Iranians backing down, I suspect all the tough talk from the Israelis is also designed to pressure the Obama administration to initiate the military option, instead of Israel. The U.S. military capability – for such a mission - is much better than Israel’s. The American bunker-busting bombs are a lot more powerful.

If, in the end, the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak concludes that the Israelis, themselves, need to strike, they probably would rather do it during this U.S. presidential election year than wait until 2013. The domestic political pressure on President Obama to side with Israel this year will be intense.

Having said all that, here’s one final note. It’s well-known that there’s no love lost between Netanyahu and Obama, and that was evident today in both their body language and the way they addressed each other so formally. But despite that, the military-to-military relationship and intelligence-to-intelligence relationship between the U.S. and Israel are stronger than they've ever been.

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RELATED STORY: Obama and Netanyahu focus on Iran's nuclear program

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Filed under: Benjamin Netanyahu • Iran • Israel • Situation Room • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. Justbuytheiroilrugsandpistachios

    And let bygones by bygones. Open an embassy. Travel back and forth. And above all, make love not war. End of story

    March 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  2. Michael

    Iran must go because no natiom must exist outside control of US full spectrum warfare policys. Irans leaders are not religios fanatics, devoted yes but damn less rabid borderline psycopath mentality oe US christian zionisms Dominionist.D For over 30 yrs US Has been pushing Iran to directly attack US Forces or Israel as an excuse to let military unleash. We aided Saddam its attack on Iran that killed over 1 mil Irananiams. at same time we were attacking Irans small off shore oil platfoms downed one of their civilian airliner and Iran fought defensive whole time. Even today when Israel and US funded and train Kurdistan spec ops who enter Iran attack assets and people they stlll defnsive. Israel long term goal is full Spectrum economic dominance in Mid East. All computer dependent outside military equipment useless as US HAS SATELITE BACKDOOR SHUTDOWN CAPABILITY. reason Iraq flew al its aircraft to Iran no weapon or guidance systems.All worlds

    March 8, 2012 at 11:44 am |
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