The Economist: Die is cast for a nuclear Iran. “Israel attack unlikely”

Neither Iran’s election, nor sanctions nor military threats are likely to divert it from its path to getting nuclear weapons, says The Economist, citing top independent experts in the field. Even if talks go on and the new Iranian president wants a deal acceptable to the West, “the die is already cast.” Iran is close to “critical capability” – meaning a short dash (10 weeks) away from enough weapons-grade uranium by the end of this year for one or more bombs, before Western intelligence knew what had happened. Will Israel carry out a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities some time in the next six months?  Probably not, says the journal: “Israeli red lines have come and gone in the past (as DEBKAfile has repeatedly reported). Israel might have attacked three or four years ago, but is less likely to do so now.

As for a US attack, “Mr Obama may well conclude that if Iran’s progress to nuclear weapons cannot be delayed for at least five to ten years, “it is not worth trying.” The last thing he wants is a prolonged bombing campaign entailing a large-scale war with Iran. America and its allies must therefore think it terms of containment and deterrence. “Managing the consequences of Iran having a nuclear weapon… would include the unraveling of the entire non-proliferation system.”

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