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Monday, December 16, 2013

Israel’s fateful decision -- By S. Fred Singer, The Washington Times

 (Illustration by Greg Groesch, The Washington Times)

A cost-benefit analysis points to an attack on Iran’s plutonium reactor

Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington TimesThe Geneva Interim Accord on Iran's nuclear programs may trigger Israeli military action.

As these talks continue and drag on, look for a startling development: Israel may attack Iran's heavy-water reactor — now being completed near Arak — arguing that Iran does not need to manufacture weapons-grade plutonium if its nuclear programs are truly peaceful as claimed. Not being involved in the interim agreement, Israel would be free to act, points out 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in a recent interview.

Former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz wrote in a Dec. 2 opinion article in The Wall Street Journal that six U.N. resolutions that had called for a full halt to all of Iran's uranium enrichment and plutonium production, have now effectively become a baseline. In their critique of the deal, which comes after a "decade-plus negotiating effort," they write that world powers underplayed their hand, combining "steadily advancing Iranian nuclear capabilities with gradually receding international demands." They cite the "modest benefit of the Geneva agreement," lengthening Iran's breakout time by only "several weeks," but foresee a nuclear-arms race breaking out in the Middle East.

The most likely scenario, leading to military action, is actually fairly predictable: First, Israeli intelligence would soon reveal that Iran is cheating. However, U.S. intelligence agencies, reporting to the White House, would likely dispute this report, with the State Department and others not wishing to reimpose severe sanctions during the six-month period that is meant to test Iran's true intentions.

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