The former head of Israel's spy agency says Iran should be very worried for the next 12 weeks. The warning comes as Israeli leaders say time for diplomacy and sanctions is running out.
The New York Times quotes Efraim Halevy, the former head of the Intelligence agency and national security advisor, saying, “If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks.”
The Times says, in Israel, there is strong speculation that the Prime Minister will launch an attack in September or early October. For months Israelis have suggested that it could even come this month. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak both believe time is running out to stop Iran before it develops a nuclear bomb. There is also the fear that Israel will not have full support for military action from the US if President Obama is elected, and if Republican Mitt Romney were to win, the new president would want to launch a much larger assault early in his term.
The Jerusalem Post says Barak and Netanyahu told visiting US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta this week, that time is running out for sanctions and diplomacy to have an effect on Iran's nuclear ambitions. Barak says,“We clearly have something to lose by this stretched time [during] which sanctions and diplomacy takes place, because the Iranians are moving forward, not just in enrichment.” And Netanyahu told Romney during his visit, "all the diplomacy and sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota," adding that a "strong and credible military threat coupled with sanctions" is needed to "have a chance to change the situation."
Halevy tells Israeli Radio that if the Iranians “continue to play their games” in nuclear negotiations, they are underestimating Israel’s resolve. The Washington Post says Halevy believes the Iranians’ ”math is off if they think they have open-ended immunity” in these talks.