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Israel planning a strike on Iran?

The New York Times has an article up discussing this week’s reports that Israel is planning an attack on Iran.

Israeli officials would not confirm or deny multiple reports in the Israeli news media that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were pressing for a decision on whether and when to strike a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, the centerpiece of Iran’s known nuclear-fuel production, and related sites across the country.

Israel has debated the viability and effects of attacks many times in the past seven years, often to Washington’s consternation. Obama administration officials, in private conversations with the Israelis, have argued that the combination of economic sanctions and covert sabotage of the Iranian effort has been more effective than an attack could be, without the risk of provoking counterattacks or a war.

It seems like Israeli preparations for an attack on Iran surface every 15 months or so, so it is hard to say that this story will actually amount to anything.  But Israel’s behavior over the past two weeks does strike me as odd.  Following the Shalid swap, Israel has refused to turn over taxes collected from Palestinians, is aggressive in enforcing its naval blockade of aid to Palestine, is increasing settlements, and now word leaks that planning against Iran has hastened.  Perhaps its coincidence, but the confluence of so many tough actions makes it seem like something is brewing behind the scenes in Israel.

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