Barack Obama's arrival in
the White House substantially reduces the likelihood of Israel using
military force to thwart Iran's nuclear program and accelerates the
possibility that within a year the regime of ayatollahs will possess atomic
bombs, according to the assessment of experts in Israel and the United
Even leading U.S.
intelligence officials acknowledge that Iran is likely to produce its first
nuclear bomb as early as this year.
This assessment, that Iran
is likely to produce its first bomb during the course of 2009 or in early
2010 was expressed, and is now also reaffirmed, by Israel's military
intelligence and the Mossad but was viewed skeptically by other intelligence
agencies around the world, who considered Israel's approach to be panic
mongering and "alarmist."
This is a race against the
clock for all parties involved.
The concern in Israel is
that if the negotiations end in failure and even if Obama's administration
reaches the conclusion that Iran was toying with it and never intended to
reach a compromise and suspend its uranium enrichment, it might already be
too late. Iran might have nuclear weapons and then it will be too late and
too dangerous to attack it.