Experts Believe Iran Conflict Is Less Likely

With the revival of talks — which went unexpectedly well — and domestic differences arising in Israel, the odds of imminent conflict have decreased, experts and American officials say.

Comments: 178

  1. Just who do you think you are fooling? The probability of war has increased. It is not news-talk that starts and ends wars although that "thought' probably inflates your ego(s). If Israel thinks Iran is about to get the "bomb" all of the ink in the world will not change the "story".

  2. On what basis do you say the probability of war has increased? Do you have some inside source in the Bahamas that no one knows about?

    Why do people say this stuff?

  3. Alternatively, it could all be a ruse leading up to an attack in the very near future. Don't believe everything said for 'public' consumption. Especially on an issue like the Iranian nuclear issue.

  4. Big talk but how do you know that?

  5. These are the same "experts" who said Saddam had WMD; the same raters who said mortgaged back garbage was AAA; and the engineers who designed the "unsinkable" Titanic. For experts there's no septic tank deep enough.

  6. Reports said, althoughfake oakleys President Obama government repeatedly said that, the United States has no to contain China strategy, but the United States has been committed to strengthening the relationship between China and neighboring countries, many of which country to Beijing to the rapid rise of uneasy.

    Japan's prime minister wild tian will meet at the White House "Obama, then accept us secretary of state Hillary Clinton great reception dinner. Hillary Clinton will fly to Beijing after the annual strategic cheap fake oakleys and economic dialogue.

  7. "but the United States has been committed to strengthening the relationship between China and neighboring countries,"

    Let's hope that Taiwan is among those neighboring countries.As the fake oakleys have noted, there is much unease there is much unease there when it comes to Beijing-Tapei relations.

  8. AIPAC tried to use the same tactics the used for the war in Iraq and it backfired. Americans are waking up and don't want to fight the neocon and AIPAC orchestrated wars based on lies anymore.

  9. If I were not carefully following events in the Middle East from other sources I might believe from this article that, as the headline states, chances for an attack on Iran are receding.

    Consider the following.

    Netanyahu is being attacked by a group of political rivals who want to unseat him. They include Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister who was forced out in disgrace, a group of disaffected ex-security men, and Yair Lapid, a mystery author and broadcaster.

    Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, a former prime minister, have emerged as unlikely allies to fight them. Only 48 hours after they challenged him to a new election, Netanyahu said he would move the general election up from October, 2013 when it was to have been held.

    He holds the decision to attack Iran in his hands. He knows that if he does so, which he believes is inevitable, he must do so sooner than later. Such an attack can only increase his political capital . Currently most voters support such an attack as essential for Israel's security.

    While the pseudo-negotiations are going on, the US and several European allies are actively preparing for the attack. Last week, US Navy, Air Force, ground, intelligence and special forces units based at home, Europe and the Middle East, took part in a special exercise ordered by President Obama to simulate reactions to a potential US/Israel strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities . US stealth F-22 fighter bombers were also transferred to the Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE.

  10. The destruction of the world economy is hostage to Netanyahu's election calculations in one tiny country? Yes, it seems so. This is a clear signal that the process is very far off track. He should have been reined in a long time ago.

  11. Source on that air strike stuff?

  12. You can bet that Israel will do something to keep things "fired up".
    After all they have Big brother waiting to fight their wars for them.

    If they want a war, this time let them go it alone. After all they have more "nukes" than Iran or their neighbors.

  13. There is no coverage here, or in this paper more generally, of the attitudes and reactions of China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, or the EU to the wrecking of the world economy for electoral calculations narrowly viewed in the US or Israel.

    The US is still the superpower, but it is no longer so overwhelming that the rest of the world can be disregarded altogether.

    Another larger war right on the oil fields and transport route would wreck the world economy so comprehensively that these other powers would be forced to react. It would supercharge the change from US hegemony. It would be very bad for the US, entirely apart from throwing us into another Great Depression. Whoever is responsible for this would pay a horrible price politically, for a generation or two, like after Hoover.

  14. Please provide links to foreign articles if you have them.

  15. WE already have a war in the oil fields---the Obama administration's WAR on the American oil/gas industry. And, yet, this war is one liberals seem to love.....even tho it amounts to a WAR on the middle class......unless, of course, the poor and the middle class are helped by soaring gas and energy prices. Green, green baby ....... just like Spain (the country Obama praised in 2008 as the model he wanted for the US).

  16. Good!

    I can go vote for Obama and the Democrats with a clear conscience.
    Don't want blood on my hands.

  17. I believe that the leadership in Israel will not be happy until and unless they attack Iran, with or without American support.

  18. The worrisome fact is Israel's certainty of US support in a war with Iran. The president and the Congress should do all in their power to disavow the Israelis of this notion.

  19. If, one Istanbul round of talks between the US and other western powers, on the one hand, and Iran, on the other, could help mitigate the climate of mutual distrust and fear, that was building for months, why not give a real chance to diplomacy over brinkmanship and war threats, and thereby allow the policy of engagement to bear fruits of peace dividends- a win-win situation for all?

  20. When the pressure is on Iran shows to back down , when the pressure is low the Iranians will gesticulate as they have since the US Hostage crisis , how many years of this do we ( the world ) have to endure , before we realize that the Iranian gov't has their own agenda , and laughs at the west naivety . Surely the logistics of war are not an option , but the destruction of their capabilities are well within the grasp of either the US or Israel , lets just shut down the issue with a couple well placed smart bombs. Then start negotiations to free the Iranian people of the thugs that hide under the guise of religion and Islam.

  21. Weren't Japanese negotiators in Washington, D.C. hours prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor? Wasn't the U.S. applying sanctions against Japan prior to the attack. The point certainly is not to compare Israel to pre-war Japan but to suggest the writer needs to review history before claiming that the Iranian talks and comments by other non-decision makers are relevant.

  22. Eased tensions? I guess what you're saying is "Now that the contenders for the republican nomination have stopped their constant chest-beating and calls for war."

  23. Netanyahu's Israel will attack Iran, our racists will applaud, our Christian fundamentalists will think that the Rapture is nigh, the militarists will be thrilled, our Congress and President will look the other way, and everyone else will fight and pay for the resulting mess. Historians decades from now will wonder how the USA decided to embark on a suicidal Middle Eastern policy.

  24. And historians will marvel at how this policy goes along with the nation's suicidal economic, social, and educational policies. Are our leaders--especially but not limited to the republicans--bent on the nation's destruction? Or what?

  25. The reason that it is less likely now is that the Obama administration has made a back-door deal with Iran that retains their leadership and guarantees their ability to enrich uranium.

    The U.S. has been continuously outmaneuvered and out-negotiated by Iran since the 1979 hostage crisis. This most recent deal just assures their ascendance as a global nuclear power and will reshape the Middle East.

  26. What you say is true about the Obama administration. And why should anyone be surprised--this administration has been the most anti-Israel administration in history.

    Let's hope Netanyahu is not fooled by Obama's foolish policy of looking the other way' while Iran develops nuclear weapons.

  27. Any evidence to support this claim?

  28. Melissa, Israelis are not fooled by Bibi. You're going to have to figure out Israel before you can speak about the Obama administration. Too bad for those who want to see America fail that negotiations are succeeding with Iran.

  29. It gives me the chills thinking what would be happening if Romney was our president. We would be at war with Iran as Romney and Netanyahu exert their warmongering mentality upon the world and push the nuclear crisis with Iran to a war. Think of high gas prices would of been then! Thank God President Obama is our president for he will stir America and the world into a resolution of this conflict with Iran that doesn't include a war. Blessed are the peace makers!

  30. I am more concerned about Pakistan having nukes than about Iran. Contrast the attitude toward a more dangerous nuclear Pakistan (inundating the country with monetary aid) and toward Iran ( yet to be nuclear, militarily). For those who are fed with one sided news reporting from the western media about Ahmedinajad's rants, try to get your news from other sources and see how much distortion the western media has done. For that matter, Israel, US and all countries should think about scaling back or getting rid of nuclear weapons entirely. I find it very hypocritical of Americans and Israelis of deriding Iran while they think they are above everyone else. NO ONE should have nuclear weapons.

  31. The only way to believe anything Iran says is when we are permitted to go anywhere we wish in that country to find out for ourselves what they are doing.

    Other than that, we are being played for suckers. Remember when Chamberlain returned from Germany and announced that there was going to be "Peace in Our Time".

  32. Absolutely correct.
    Thank you.

  33. The same could be said of the US government. Bradley Manning opened everyone's eyes to the US distortions.

  34. Why, because 'you' permit Iran to come anywhere they wish in this country? Come on!

  35. Allowing Israel to set the middle east on fire at this fragile time would be madness. And just like Iraq and Victorian hysteria of the neo-cons at that time, there is no evidence of a weapon. Bibi wanted war before Obama's re-election, but is losing that battle. Thank God.

  36. You sound like Neville Chamberlain. Yes, lets just sit around and wait for Iran to set the middle east on fire...

  37. Melissa, you sound like Bush jr., with the "atom bombs and mushroom clouds" that he said poor Iraq had.

    But really, historical "parallels" can be found that "prove" anything. You (and all of us) have to get beyond the easy analogies--and look at the truth of the situation as it is, and that takes research and work. And not analogies, even as useful as old Chamberlain has been to warmongers for decades now.

  38. @Melissa: I believe that you are Neville Chamberlain's Neville Chamberlain.

    I came to this conclusion because you did not call for North Korea to be invaded or destroyed after it exploded it first nuke when the neo-conservatives were in power. In fact, if I remember correctly, the neo-cons were cowering in fear did not do anything about North Korea.

    Even today, North Korea is being observed to prepare for their THIRD nuclear weapon test.

    What are YOU doing about that? Why aren't you calling for an invasion of North Korea? Are YOU a Super Neville Chamberlain?

  39. It was all political hash.
    Enjoy paying the extra tax on petroleum products for nothing.
    Iran has the upper hand now, withhold oil from Europe and send it to India, China, Europe goes deeper into recession and no QE3.
    The Iranians are very rational and intelligent.

  40. "the odds of imminent conflict have decreased, American officials say. "

    Famous last words.

    Events tend to outpace thought.

  41. Let's hope the Israeli people are smarter, saner and more thoughtful than their government, and that they make some important, much needed changes at their next election. Ousting Netinyahu and his ilk would not only be in Israel's best interests, but the world's.

  42. This is, finally, some good news. I dread a conflict with Iran, caused by an attack from Israel and/or the USA. But I understand how serious the concern has been. Hopefully, Iran will back down and we can hope for some peace in the Middle East.

  43. Until this morning I didnt know that the name Netanyahu means "sent by god"

    His father changed his last name.

    Messiah complex indeed.

  44. Here are some direct quotes from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran has a long history of participation in and support of terrorism. Nuclear weapons will allow Iran to act with impunity.

    Why would anyone believe that Iran has suddenly had a change of heart?

    A nation which has culture, logic and civilisation does not need nuclear weapons. The countries which seek nuclear weapons are those which want to solve all problems by the use of force. Our nation does not need such weapons.

    As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map.

  45. Let's look at what Kim Jong-il and Kim Il Sung said about the United States:

    "The United States shall taste the wrath of our weapons!"

    "We shall bring the battle to the United States!"

    "With our second successful nuclear weapon test, we shall bring fear into our enemy, the United States and make them shake in their boots! The United States shall be destroyed!"

    So tell me this:


    Are we a bunch of hypocritical cowards? Are we so afraid of China that we cower in fear of the real bully which is North Korea which has REAL nuclear weapons?

  46. Israel (tail) wagging dog (US)

  47. Before, I would have believed you but not so much any more!

  48. Its payback time for Mr Netanyahu and from his own most senior officials & political peers. Many others have yet to speak up. He travelled to the USA hell bent on causing Pres Obama political damage and inciting AIPAC to do more bidding for him. These latest revelations prove once more that Mr Netanyahu cannot be trusted. The pity is that he is able to cause the USA (and the rest of us) so much grief. As if the long suffering Palestinian tragedy is not enough. It is so comforting to know that there is a cool and sober man in the White House.

  49. The only Palestinian tragedy is that the Palestinians have been robbed of honest leaders and support from their Islamic brothers to conclude a true and lasting peace and form a true democracy not run by terrorist thugs.

    Blinders are great things to wear but do not make for helpful policy.

  50. America would serve itself well by keeping Israel at a long arm’s length. Those Washington politicians that genuflect before Israel and kiss their ring need to be criticized for anti-American acts. The greatest threat to world peace today is Israel- by far!

  51. We can talk all we want, and point to every malevolent cause of this likely conflict - it still does not absolve the Iranian regime from pursuing its nihilistic agenda, and its avowed interest in annihilating Israel.

    Negotiations start and finish, the Iranian agenda just shifts from one burner to another.

    There is no peaceful solution here; all we can do is to make sure Iran cannot reach its goals. We can do this overtly or covertly. But, it cannot be done diplomatically. We have to recognize that the problem lies in Iran, even if it perversely serves to feed and sustain AIPAC and neocons, and a long list of yahoos within and outside Israel.

    To believe that Iran will change its mind and change its ways is silly. To expect a surgical strike to work is similarly naive. This is a deep seated, comprehensive problem with the theocracies and caliphates of the middle east, and with complex geopolitical implications (chiefly China and Russia).

    The solution is similarly multi-lateral (NATO) and large scale (regime change). To pretend otherwise, and take a breath in relief because of temporary indicators in Istanbul is naive.


  52. Name one instance in the history of our foreign policy where these supposed solutions have worked. Just one.

  53. A "temporary lull"? Indeed, this appears to be not diplomacy at work, but simply kicking
    that perverbial can down the road, over and over again.
    In our humble opinion, this is just another ruse, more doublespeak and propaganda
    to confuse and obfiscate. Where are the real statesmen of this world, who might deal
    with this Iranian threat in a more decisive way?
    Does anyone really believe that Iranian President Amedinijad (sp) is kidding, when he threatens to wipe Israel off the map?
    To be sure, we are all being hoodwinked and deceived, if for one second you
    believe that these machinations are not related to the U.S. November election.
    Good luck, America. Good luck.

  54. The people that make U.S. foreign policy and war have a very poor track record of listening to the experts. If the deciders had listened to the experts we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now in Afghanistan fighting the Islamic extremist worldwide movement that the U.S. encouraged, funded and supplied for decades. Those with extremist ideologies that decide U.S. foreign policy are backed by big oil, international finance, weapons manufacturers, military contractors and war profiteers that have usually gotten their wars. There is no reason to believe it will be any different in the decision to go to war with Iran.

  55. As usual, the Iranian mullahs are playing the Obama administration like a worn out fiddle. Their act never changes, but it always gets them exactly what they want.

  56. Perhaps Iran has truly become more flexible and an agreement with the United States and other Western powers on limiting its nuclear program is on the way. But if one can judge from dozens of past instances Iran is bluffing and taking advantage of Western naievete. The Iranians won't they sense that the U.S. is less than serious about directly stopping their program will most likely promise , lie, and continue doing what they always have intended to do, develop the nuclear option.
    As for the Israeli side former Prime Minister Olmert certainly deserves a special citation for underhanded and disloyal behavior. His criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu is for actions which he himself threatened to undertake. His effort to rehabilitate himself by speaking and warning against speaking too much is less than ridiculous. He is not one - tenth the Prime Minister in quality that Prime Minister Netanyahu is and has been. The envy of the lesser to the far far more competent and capable is at play here.

  57. Israel will not attack Iran. Did they say anything before attacking Syria in 2007 and Iraq in 1981? Go figure.

  58. Not long ago Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei said nuclear weapons are un-Islamic. He sent a signal to the West his readiness to negotiate. Iran has shown itself a rational actor as it realises sanctions bite and it relies on oil revenues to stay in power. The West carries on its "carrot and stick" strategy to persuade Iran to comply to a reduced uranium enrichment. Netanyahu and Ehud Barak's war drums in the recent months were drowned amidst the deafening outcry at home and abroad. Let's hope for a win-win outcome for the crisis.

  59. So Israel attacks a neighbour yet again. Will this get us anywhere ? I doubt it. But at least it will provide a distraction from its own inner problems.

  60. A great contribution to world peace and nuclear non-proliferation would be a quiet discussion between President Obama and Governor Romney where they would agree on a joint policy regarding Iran. (Hopefully such a policy would agree with the policy of all the other countries that are part of the sanctions on Iran.)

    In my humble opinion, an attack on Iran should not be a subject of electioneering. It is too important.

  61. Willard, the Vietnam draft dodger, Romney, whose only foreign policy experience is visiting his ill gotten gains in four foreign tax havens, and torturing french people for his cult and his long friendship with the megalomanical messianic Netanyahu, has no place in any "discussion" about US foreign policy. Nor qualification.

  62. Israel, a country of less than 8 million people seeks to attack Iran, a country of more than 75 million people?! Israel possesses more nuclear weapons than Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran combined.

    Ultimately, Israel cannot simply shape the Arab world to their liking on American blood and treasure. Netanyahu and his cabal of extremists incessantly beat the war drum for political purposes, as it preempts discussion on Israel's apartheid policies. No more American expeditions for Israel they need to live peacefully within their means, plus they have nuclear weapons such that their survival is readily assured. Enough with the dangerous rhetoric. Iran will eventually have nuclear weapons can anyone blame them given Israel's extremists?

  63. Let's face it. The Iranians are in the same position that the Russians were in when they put missiles in Cuba. They know that it's a losing proposition all around. They need to save face and really don't want to start a war that they can't win.. It's not the government that we have to fear but whatever crazy anarchists over there want to bring about the end of civilization as we know it. We should be advising them of that scenario.

  64. In other words no one is making the case for war except for Bibi and his pal, Mitt. Is there anyone less qualified to be president of this country than Willard Aipac Romney?

  65. The United States remains the biggest threat to the future of humanity. Our ally Israel contributes mightily to that threat (for a country smaller and even less hospitable than New Jersey). The world (including the US) would be a much safer place if we were to cut our military spending by 90% and invest the proceeds in clean energy R&D.

  66. Everyone wants a perfect world with no war, crime, poverty or disease. Unfortunately the history of humans and warfare is a good indicator of the future.

  67. Agree with you 100%.

    Only one problem.... the citizens of every nation have to take back their freedom to think for themselves and not be brainwashed by mischief mongers who have no desire for any one else's well being in mind except their own... majority being arms sellers, warmongers, market speculators, power hungry slave politicians pandering to particular lobbies, preachers of false gloom and doom.....etc etc.

    The wealth lost in making wars and subjugating innocent and helpless people could provide enough to solve much that causes dissent. Fairness , justice, morality and truth would add to the equation very nicely.

  68. Negotiations with Iran are similar to North Korea, much talk and no progress. We should continue in the faint hope that sanity will prevail, but expectations should be kept a at realistic level.

  69. Yup - I can't wait to hear how Mitt Romney and his Fox News supporters spin this into another failure in foreign policy for President Obama. I just hope the spike in oil prices that seemed to peak a week or so ago continues to lower prices as tensions in the Middle East decline.

  70. It would appear to be positive news, however, the old saying trust and verify applies. Action by Iran is truly the only way to evaluate progress. I think the government putting pressure on other countries is not addressed in this article and should be. If the war drumbs were not sounding how much change would we have seen?

  71. I would like someone to email me at [email protected] with the answer to this question:

    Why doesn't anyone see that this situation is Iran's fault? It is pretty clear that Israel has had nuclear weapons for several decades and has not used them. Why are people willing to trust that Iran will not use nuclear weapons if she has them?

    Seriously, someone please explain this to me.

  72. First, why does Israel have nuclear weapons and who allowed and assisted them in acquiring them?

    Second, what makes you think they will not use them should they find it necessary as a last resort?

    Third, why do the Western powers think that they are the only ones that can be trusted when no one except the U.S. has ever used the atomic arsenal on another people?

    Lastly, any idiot can tell that Nuclear weapons usage will only create mutual destruction and their use would would only invite annhilation.
    Unfortunately, neither Israel nor the U.S. has enough morality to admit that.

  73. Iran has a long history of not starting wars of aggression, unlike the U.S. and Israel. The Cheney doctrine of pre-emptive war if there is 1 chance in 100 of being attacked by someone is false logic, silly and would result in the U.S. starting WW III against China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Korea, France, England, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico ….…and Israel too.

  74. Iran would be destroyed if they used nuclear weapons against us or our allies. Trust is not part of the equation. There are too many religious nuts in power these days looking for their own armageddons to trust anybody.

  75. Let's hope there will be no war, because, if it were to start, only God knows how and when it will finish. It implies much more than nuclear Iran; it implies energy (oil and gas) passing from Iran through Iraq and Syria (the way Russia and China want it) or the destruction of Syria, so that energy will take the Nabucco way to Europe, passing through Turkey (the NATO way). So an attack on Iran will result in the third world war, which means a nuclear war and a possible end of life on earth.

  76. Excellent progress, give time and common sense its full credit to come to terms, that's what the world needs now, negotiations instead of confrontation.
    We must focus on solving immediate problems, such as explosive economic and social situations in Europe and back home, create more jobs instead of more wars.
    Congratulations are in order for those who think with a clear mind and look over petty
    domestic matters.

  77. Could this be a turning point, both in Israel and in the US? AIPAC and its slavish American political followers now find themselves supporting an extremist "messianic" wing-nut "bomb Iran" Netanyahu position. It seems that the majority of Israeli military and intelligence leaders who have spoken out find no "existential" threat, no decision by Iran whether to go ahead with a nuke, no success of an attack on Iran, and every likelihood that an attack would be the very thing which tilts Iran towards actually building a weapon. Sounds like what American peace proponents and many middle east experts have been saying for a long time.

  78. So the threat of aggressive war against a country that says it isn't doing something, by those who think it is doing something, has been temporarily averted?
    Just for a moment there I thought sanity had reared its improbable head.

  79. Lots of wishful thinking from the template factory. No one believes a thing you say, not even you.

  80. Another misleading column by Mr. Risen, along the same theme of his previous misleading articles that Iran has "stopped" building the components in preparation for an atomic bomb. Wake up and smell the coffee, Mr. Risen. You, too, Mr. NYT Editor.

  81. Forgive them, Philip. But why let them embarrass themselves any further? Be kind enough to pass on your intelligence sources.

  82. So who exactly is a threat to peace here:
    Country A says that if attacked by a foreign military, they'll shoot back, and is developing nuclear technology for what appear to be civilian purposes (country A claims otherwise, but the UN agrees with country B).

    Country B is openly discussing whether or not to attack country A, has nuclear weapons, and appears to be involved in killing civilians inside of country A.

    Most reasonable people would pick country B as being the greater threat, and that country is Israel, not Iran.

  83. Left out of your simple argument - Country A has been training personnel and funding attacks on Country B. Country A has openly stated Country B should be wiped off the map.

  84. The boos that greeted Ehud Olmert [elsewhere in The Times] reveals the mindset of many if not most American Jews as well as Israelis supporting Netanyahu: They crave a war with Iran, not only to demonstrate Israel's supremacy in the region but also for a darker reason. As a somewhat observant American Jew I write reluctantly, for like all Jews, I felt the pain of the Holocaust even as a young child. But to me, Israel has become militaristic virtually for its own sake, which has led to inhumane treatment of the Palestinians, support of petty dictatorships, international arms dealing, a moral backwardness so very unworthy of Torah teachings and principles.

    I fear some version of Neocons will seek to distort or disrupt the upcoming Baghdad negotiations, or that hawks in both Israel and America will find some way to keep the tensions alive. I do not trust Mr. Obama's policy framework, in which the pressure of sanctions supposedly turned Iran around. No thought is given to the idea that Iran may be seeking a constructive solution for its own sake, not in response to pressure. Obama seems war-happy, as in his use of drones, the buildup of naval forces in the Pacific (as part of a strategy of encircling China), and long-term commitment in Afghanistan. War with Iran still has its attractions for him, not least in expanding executive power, furbishing the Democrats' patriotic-martial image, and winning going away in 2012.

  85. Mr. Pollack, I could not agree with you more. Congratulations on such a reasoned message.

  86. Second that. If only more Jews would speak out.

  87. Interesting and compelling post. However, I believe you are wrong concerning Obama. He appears to have rejected Natanyahu and his American supporters demands for a strike against Iran and instead the Obama administration is pursuing diplomacy to defuse this faux Iranian crisis. Actually another war against another nation in the Mideast over non existent WMDs would ensure his defeat while a peaceful resolution will mean falling prices at the pump,more money in consumers pockets and a strengthening of the fragile economy. Americans are fed up with over a decade of war and Obama appears to understand that voters will punish him if he is so reckless as to get the US involved in another catastrophic debacle.

  88. Iran has the power to defuse tension, by opening itself to complete inspection of its nuclear facilities. Not doing this, and building buried-deep-inside-mountain nuclear enrichment facilities, and publicly promoting "Death to the Jews", create fear.

    Iran has already gone to 20% uranium enrichment, which is far higher than needed for peaceful domestic electricity generation and meical-research-isotope production. Iran's leaders want nuclear weaponry.

    Israel is planning to attack Iran. To destroy deep-mountain Fordow's facilities, they're going to have to use nuclear weapons. Also, destruction of Iran's telecommunications lines to the outside world will be necessary to prevent cyber-attacks on the Western World's computer networks.

    Russia won't mind PG oil-flow disruption, ca-ching. China can deal with it. Fracking makes the USA PG-energy-independent. Europe will suffer, but they've already made bad decisions, for a long time.

  89. Where do you suppose Israel's nuclear development facilities are located? Just sitting out there on the Negev inviting attack? When is Israel going to allow the IAEA unfettered access to its facilities?

  90. Just keep in mind the unpleasant thought that Iran is doing no more or less than any other power in the region. Every mid east country that can have the bomb gets one. Every state in the region has their own list of neighbors to annihilate and wipe off the map. We should do all we can to get everyone on the road to peace.

  91. I don't think Israel will attack anyone. They are not suicidal, even the hawk Mr. Netanyahu. What benefit would Israel have? Innocent Iranians would be killed, they would only delay Iranian nuclear capabilities, Iran would have to retaliate against Israel and more innocent people will be killed.

    What needs to happen is that countries all over the world need to put leaders in place that don't wake up every morning thinking about who they can go to war with or which country needs to be wiped off the face of the earth like Ahmadinejad said about Israel. Who talks like that ? Hitler did! What Ahmadinjad needs to do is take a shave and buy a decent suit. And please, don't tell me he doesn't shave for religiious reasons because people like that are NOT religious, they only talk religion!

    It is about time that the leaders of countries "beat their swords into plowshare' and do good in the world. There is only so much time, life is not forever!

  92. Funny how they're going to use diplomacy now just like how Ron Paul wants too... I guess Ron Paul's foreign policy view is correct..

  93. It is indeed Mr. Pitchfork. He's the only one who makes sense. Unfortunately he does not appeal to the uneducated masses. If he did we would have a balanced budget within six months.

  94. Thankfully Obama is president and not John McCain. Had McCain been elected we'd be at war with Iran. And to all of those "shoot first and ask questions later" warmongerers on the right, I suggest you enlist. And if Romney gets elected...well, I don't even want to think what the ramifications will be.

  95. All five of Romney's sons served thier country bravely in Iraq. Romney served during Viet Nam. Only thing is he served in France. Not French Indochine. France. Bill O'Reilly, Hannity, Bush, all served at various and sundry private clubs during Viet Nam. Or were they served?

  96. I disagree. While I will be the first to point out McCain's obvious deficiencies, political, intellectual or otherwise, one thing his career over at least the past decade has amply demonstrated is that he will absolutely parrot interest group talking points on command. One of his "backers" is interested in bombing Iran? "We must use military action!" The same backer changes his mind? "We must not launch reckless adventures!" And not a beat will be missed in switching from Mode A to Mode B and back to Mode A again.

    You could see this palpably with the Libya fiasco. Obama does nothing - "we must bomb Qaddafi (for humanitarian reasons)!" Obama intervenes - "reckless adventures!" Qaddafi falls - "Obama didn't intervene fast enough!" This is the same guy who, on Day 1, decried the torture provision of the Military Commissions Act, and on Day 2 quietly voted for it. Irony is sweet.

    The point is that on Iran, he's been a follower, not a leader, a "convenient hawk". Guess what - same pattern could be seen in the Times' own coverage (by the way!), and same pattern took place with many other Washington figures. So would President McCain bomb Iran? Certainly not "by himself" - though in a "toss-up" situation like today, when some interests argue for it and others against it (to wit - Israel!), McCain would be less likely to oppose a strike as Obama appears to have done. That I will agree with.

  97. Conrad Watson

    VietNam draft dodger Willard Romney has already said his sons service to their country "was campaigning for him". Beats the hell out of basic training no?
    Five generations of Romneys have never served in uniform. Though great grandpa did dodger off to ol' Mexico to avoid prosecution for polygamy.

    More of the dodgers include Limbaugh, Gingrich, Buchanan. Avoiders, Bush and Quayle.

    Also amazing how warlike the protestations of republican cheerleaders. Bush, prep school, Romney, prep school, Rick Perry, college, Trent Lott, college.

  98. Darn. The republican party wanted another war. Another war where other people's sons and daughters fight on the front lines, while their sons and daughters do other, more patriotic things. What will they and their defense contractor sugar daddies do now? I do realize that this comment is dripping with sarcasm, but I do know quite a few conservatives that will be very disappointed with this news. Meanwhile, I am very relieved that my child, a member of the military, will not be put in harm's way just to satisfy some politician's thirst for war.

  99. My son is also in the service. You and I are of the same mind.

  100. New York Times seems to want to incite the nation to go to another war. For what purpose, really?

  101. What incitement?

  102. Neither Israel nor Pakistan nor India nor North Korea are parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT) All of these nations have nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems. And all of them have threatened their neighbors and each other or invaded and occupied other lands based upon faith, ethnicity, politics and nationality.

    Iran is a party to the NPT and does not have nuclear weapons. America and it's allies have intefered in Iran overthrowing a democratic government installing a dictator in power supporting another dictator in his war against Iran. America's USN shot down a civilian Iranian airplane followed by the invasion and occupation of Iran's neigbors Iraq and Afganistan after declaring Iran was part of an axis of evil.

    America seems bent on forcing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons as an excuse for war and Iran feeling threatened,

    There is more debate inside Israel over this issue while the Israel Zionist lobby and it's Fifth Column lackey AIPAC has silenced brought and paid for our government and media for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic. Peter Beinhart, Bob Simon and former Israeli military and intelligence chiefs are not immune to such charges.

    America unleashed the nuclear genie and is against Iran and North Korea having a nuclear option. America looks the other way regarding Israel, India and Pakistan.

    What is the difference between these nations?

    What is in accordance with American values and interests?

  103. Thankfully we have Obama Clinton steering the US through the Iran-Israel crisis. Republicans want to hand over our mideast policy to our ally Israel. Once again the Republicans would allow radical right wing "hard liners" the luxury of putting the US military and treasury at the disposal of foreign interests. It didn't work well in Iraq and it would be disastrous to allow Prime Minister Netanyahu to decide when military action is appropriate against Iran.

  104. Steering... interesting word. More like waffling and hoping iran doesn't do exactly what it is doing.

  105. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that his nation doesn't need nuclear weapons however there is proof that Iran is trying to develop them.

    Read his quote below regarding countries that seek nuclear weapons. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't believe him.

    A nation which has culture, logic and civilisation does not need nuclear weapons. The countries which seek nuclear weapons are those which want to solve all problems by the use of force. Our nation does not need such weapons.

  106. the US, the UK, India, etc, has all of that and also nuclear weapons.

    anything in his past why should we believe MA?

  107. Anyone who believes the US does not need nukes lacks any common sense.

  108. My first thought upon reading this piece was how will the Romney
    camp spin this one. My second thought was thank heavens the
    rational voices in Isreal are speaking out. There is nothing more frightening
    to me than to have to cover Isrea'ls back because of a preemptive strike.
    Hopefully, Bibi will be ousted in the next election.

  109. Your third thought should be, "Hmm...I wonder if the NY Times is spinning this story to make Obama's influence appear more substantially positive than it actually was..."

  110. What evidence is there that Mr. Obama's attempts earlier this year "to strike a balance, appearing supportive of Israel but still stopping short of endorsing military action anytime soon," were motivated by "fears of antagonizing American Jewish voters during an election year"? This appears to conventional wisdom, but I don't need the New York Times for unsupported assertions about the effects of American Jews on U.S. foreign policy -- I can find enough of those all over the Internet.

  111. Obviously Obama is pandering to the Jewish voters to recapture the 78% of them who fawningly voted for him last time.

  112. Oh, thank God. The pacifists among us can breath a little.

  113. Israel should take note that good things can happen if you suppress aggressive posturing and take a measured, diplomatic approach toward peace, without taking military options off the table. If the USA had listened to Israel we'd be engaged in a third war in the middle east right now. Some ally, that Israel.

  114. Israeli is an ally, but, as Robert Gates so aptly and bravely put it, is an "ungrateful ally."

  115. Norman Podhoretz calls it World War IV, and it began several years ago, Joe.

  116. Jimmy Kimmel, commenting on Iran, said it best during the White House Correspondents dinner, “they are a bunch of yahoos and netanyahus...."

  117. my guess he was including israel in that bunch, not just the iranians

  118. The talks are going better? What a bunch of nonsense. Its a page right out of the North Korean playbook. Say whatever you think they want to hear and do whatever you planned to do in the first place. I don't believe a word of it ......from either side

  119. What nonsense. Iran is Iran Its use of N-bombs is unpredictably and only will be seen during a crisis. But the US has the same or more of this capability and was the only country ever to drop a bomb or two. Judge not for thy shall be judged.

  120. So...that would explain why the price of gas has started dropping....ummmm...nevermind.

    I just thought they've been saying "instability of the market due to tensions in Iran" were causing the price of oil / gas to go up...

    Glad to know it's just market speculation, futures hedges, and micro-trading pushing the price up...whew!

  121. Yes..... a big thank you........ to the Isralie people who spoke up.
    However..... all this could have been avoided if the world had accepted the fact that Iran is allowed under international law to do what it is doing. It has a right to process it's own fuel.
    The west didn;t accept Iran's generous offer to hand over it's processed fuel for storage. This was a major mistake on the west's part.
    It seems that we are likely to strike a deal......... one that we actually had a year ago or more if we had only been more fair. And so Iran might finally be treated fairly and with dignity.......but only because it stood it's ground and didn;t roll over and play dead. I congratualte them for standing up to their rights and hope that they do not buckle under US and Israeli pressures. They have a right to a civilian nuclear program and to process their own fuel.

  122. Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map and they wage war on Israel through their proxies - Hamas and Hezbollah, supplying rockets for example to Hamas. Why should Israel not take their threat as valid? Not only Israel, but the USA has suffered from Iran which is responsible for the deaths of Americans through the terror it exports around the world - in the middle east and in Iraq. This by the White House's own admission.

    Attacking their nuclear facility is a decision that Israel has to consider very carefully because there a lot of ramifications. Peace is always best. But the answer as to what to do and how to proceed is not easy for Israel.

  123. Ending the occupation, removing its colonists from the West Bank, and accepting the Arab League's offer of full diplomatic and trade relations in return for Israel returning to its 1967 borders sounds like a win/win way to proceed.

    Which means that Israel will have absolutely nothing to do with such an even-handed approach.

  124. How about Israel sign the NonProliferation Treaty and open itself to IAEA inspection?

  125. Poor Isreal. They could wipe Iran in two seconds. Please consider the profits Eisenhower warned us about.

  126. Thank God, several Israeli generals and other military Israelis have more sense than Netanyahu and his rampaging Likhud gang that can't shoot straight -- but doesn't care about shooting wildly and often.

  127. New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman writes, “Like many liberal American Jews I basically avoid thinking about where Israel is going. It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current government are basically a gradual, long-run form of national suicide – and that’s bad for Jews everywhere, not to mention the world.”

  128. Fools,fools,a Nation full of fools

  129. iran never had any thoughts of attacking anyone.this is just the usual US meddling trying to start a war.a leaderless and failing america fools no one and NO LONGER MATTERS!

  130. There you go again, soft on WMD! We need Romney to ramp up his attacks on the diplomatic and economic sanctions Obama has endorsed. Only "Shock and Awe" in Bagdad will bring an end to Iranian nuclear development. Look how well it worked in Iraq.

  131. How well it worked? Do you remember satellite photographs of Iranian army positions being handed to Saddam Hussein by Rumsfeld when Iraq and Iran were at war?
    Well guess who attacked Iraq after that? The US.
    Who supplied Iraq with the seeds for chemical warfare which Saddam tested on a village of Kurds? Reagan.
    Who defended Saddams' actions? Again, Reagan.
    One of the reasons Saddam went to war with Iran with US blessing was payback for the US Embassy hostage taking by Iranian students. Hence the gift of satellite imagery of Iranian positions to Iraq.
    If Iran is behaving as it does, maybe it knows upfront that the US can turn on an ally, of sorts. Ironically? the Bush war on Iraq did Iran the biggest of favors. Saddam is gone, and Iran has a Shia government in Iraq.
    Funny how things turn out when amateurs direct foreign policy.

  132. Without Shock & Awe, Col. Qaddahfi could have squashed the Arab Spring with his own nuclear weapons. Herr Colonel saw in Shock & Awe the writing on the wall. In fact the US was dismantling Libya's nuke program when Arab Spring intruded.
    Mission Accomplished.

  133. After Iran combines a Nuclear Bomb with an ICBM they will be impossible to deal with and no country in the world including America would be secure from their meancing gaze and convoluted machinations. Ken C. Arnold Santa Monica, CA

  134. Silly rhetoric Same hysteria when Russia first exploded the bomb. Russians did not become "more difficult"; they did not invade Western Europe; they did not expand their European borders beyond what they already controlled with arms at the end of WW II; they did not invade the United States. And as far as US secourity goes, we face a much, much greater threat from Pakistan's nuclear capablities than form Iran's. The most dangerous threat to the US from nuclear weapons today is form PAkistan.

  135. And all those bombs we can sell to their neighbors? We don't want to miss out on that bonanza.

  136. [Russia] did not expand their European borders beyond what they already controlled with arms at the end of WW II
    That's disingenuous.
    Russia took over so many countries it could not have gotten any bigger. It made Egypt and Syria its military proxies; it put ICBMs in Cuba; it made Cuba supply troops for the Angola civil war; the dead Cubans were not sent home for burial. It fomented insurgencies throughout Latin and South America.
    It shot down KAL 007 with 300-plus people aboard, worse than Lockerbie, cause there was no reason for it, whatsoever.
    After WWII, Russia shot down several USAF planes in international airspace.
    It set up major spy rings in America. The Rosenbergs, Col. Abel, etc.
    Its nuclear bombers routinely probed US east coast USAF defenses en route from Russia over the polar ice cap to Cuba in the late 1960s and 1970s. The USAF F-106 was purpose-built, incl. a nuclear Genie missile, to take down Russian bombers.
    Russia kept the ports of Haiphong and Hanoi full of cargo ships while we were at war there. Russian pilots flew MiGs over MiG Alley in Korea, and over North Vietnam, too.
    Russia went to war against its Commie partner in crime, Red China, an ancient grudge match. Satan vs. Beelzebub. Chinese dead under Mao's revolution: 30 million, per Robert Conquest.
    Russia got away with murder because the USA was legitimately afraid Russia would use nuclear weapons, esp. since it shed no tears over 20 million dead in WW II.

  137. Distract us with Iran and we forget about the illegal settlements, right?.

  138. Sadly, you nailed it Rob.

  139. Rob writes:

    "Distract us with Iran and we forget about the illegal settlements, right?"

    Well worth repeating, Rob. I suspect Netanyahu figured months ago that creating all this "Will Israel attack Iran?" hubbub would work out well for him either way. If it "sells," he gets to bomb Iran and nobody thinks much about the settlements for a while. If it doesn't sell (as seems to be the case), at least he's distracted people's attention from the settlements for a while.

  140. The NYT has written tens of editorials and articles while CNN/FOX have aired hours of TV time to discusss a US-Israel attack to Iran's nuclear facilities. The attack will not happen. According to the NYT " the White House APPEARS DETERMINED to prevent any confrontation that could disrupt world oil markets in an election year."

    Three lessons from an air strike against Iran that never happened. First, Israel cannot wage another major war without the US military muscle upfront. Second, Israel powerful Washington lobby is losing its dominant position. Third, the longer the US economic recovery, the more difficult to engage Washington in another Middle East war.

    Paraphrasing John Lennon: Is time to give peace a chance.

    [email protected]

  141. Iran has achieved what it wanted - a viable fissile material production facility which is militarily unassailable. Once you can enrich uranium to 3%, you simply pass it through the same system again and out comes 18% enriched material. Pass it through the same system again, and out comes over 90% enriched "bomb grade" material. The only issue is your processing throughput (i.e. how long it takes to make a given quantity of 90% material.) The Iranians have what they want, and they can pursue nuclear weapons at their leisure.

  142. The only way you could prevent this would have been by invading and permanently occupying Iran. Diplomacy, sanctions and containment are the only effective means to deal with Iran on this issue.

  143. Wow! Didn't know it was that simple! I've got some free time this week. I think I'll try to process my uranium to be weapon grade. Piece of Cake!

  144. That was given some ten years ago. Yes, another nuclear country is coming up and nobody can stop it. OK, we can by annihilating Iran with our thermonuclear weapons. Will we do it? Never.

    We just have to live with very nasty people with powerful weapons. We outlived Soviet Union and we will outlive the Islamists in iran.

    Not that we are so good or something. We are a great power and Iran is not. The only people who can be threaten to us arethe Russians (not interested, at the moment) and, perhaps, the Chinese. The latter are, however, much more interested in our dollars than dreams about annihilating what they used to call 'paper tiger'.

  145. Interesting to contrast the approch of two presidents toward Iran.

    President Bush makes empty speeches about the Axis of Evil and then wastes a few $ trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives eliminating Iran's biggest enemy, Iraq, the ones without the nuclear capability. Zero benefit to the US.

    President Obama carefully assembles an international consensus, including China and other major oil customers, that ratchets Iran toward engagement and reality. Even if talks are not successful, Iran's ability to manipulate events in the Middle East through Hamas and Hezbollah will be degraded by their own domestic limitations.

  146. Commenting on the New York Times’ (4/30/2012) “Experts Believe Iran Conflict Is Less Likely”, we should hope it is right and there will be no war, because, if it were to start, only God knows how and when it will finish.
    It implies much more than nuclear Iran; it implies energy (oil and gas) passing from Iran through Iraq and Syria (the way Russia and China want it) or the destruction of Syria, so that energy will take the Nabucco way to Europe, passing through Azerbaijan and Turkey (the NATO way). It implies also the destruction of Syria and Turkey pushing towards the Gulf and renewing its Ottoman empire. This would remind Russia of old dangers, while China would feel threatened in its energy supplying.
    So an attack on Iran will result in the third world war, which means a nuclear war and a possible end of life on earth.

  147. That's way too many contingencies. The stalemate will continue, like a low-level MAD. The economy is distracting Europe, and USA is war-weary. Radical Islam already has Egypt in its pocket, we can kiss off all those countries. As long as the nuclear genie is kept in the bottle, we just have to acclimate to an endless lo-level Global War on Terrorism, and more isolationism stateside. Let the world go to hell in a handbasket, it seems to have the requisite death wish to do so.
    The Saudis and Qatar and other Gulf countries have well-equipped air forces that Iran must factor in, too.

  148. CP requested source on US air strike maneuvers against Iran:

    The source is

    Debkafile is a highly respected site for political analysis, espionage, terrorism and security as it effects Israel and the Middle East. All intelligence people view it and most governments subscribe to the premium content.

    Mark Thomason writes that Netanyahu's election calculation is misguided.

    President Obama has repeatedly let others know that he will not do anything to threaten his chances of re-election. He is simultaneously preparing for strikes against Iran and announcing that negotiations must be given a chance.

    He doesn't want Israel to strike Iran before the US elections. However, Israel will have to do what is in its best interests and Netanyahu knows this. Both Obama and Netanyahu are politicians who want to be re-elected and will also do what they need to do to insure this.

    This is not a popularity contest. The negotiations with Iran are a joke and both sides know that they are pure window dressing.

    There are many factors which will determine when and how the strikes against Iran will take place.

  149. Good grief. Such an astounding assemblage of armchair bloviation from self-appointed experts.
    Blah. Blah. Blah.
    Hey. The price of gas is going down.

  150. Oh, yes. $4.00 a gallon in L.A. and how is Miss Daisy's new cadillac?

  151. Iran plans on developing the Bomb no matter what. The only long-term solution is regime change following a ground invasion. If only the neo-conservatives were in power instead of the weak and cowardly Obama...

  152. Some people will never learn.

  153. To call a sitting president a coward is tantamount to comparing the position of those who disagree with you as akin to that of the Nazis. When you do that your argument is likely biased, and should probably be discounted.

    Another way to judge the worth of your argument is to ask if you would send your son/daughter/brother, etc., to fight in the "ground invasion" you so cavalierly propose. Pardon me if I doubt it.

  154. By all means join the Army if you're so willing to go to war over speculation from another country's politicians.

  155. If the Republicans win the White House this time, Romney will crank up a war very quickly with Iran. Iraq and Afghanistan were just the warm-ups to more baseless and costly conflicts designed to add to the bottom lines of top Republican contributors and their buddies in their corrupt regime. Bush was a pimp. Romney's a puppet. And we'll be their victims again, footing the bill through the taxes we pay until there's no more middle class. Think BEFORE you vote. Next stop: the trash can.

  156. Sorry Bibi, sometimes common sense prevails. Pick another country. Something less ambitious.

  157. Things have reached the point where an article like this simply distorts the truth.

    How the talks went was far from the most important factor. The most important factor was that the US refused to let Israel push her into war herself or publicly sanction an Israeli attack.

    Had the US given way, there would have been war. Since we didn't give way, there hasn't been war. Other factors, while significant, were and are secondary. It's all about the extent to which we will permit Israel to dictate our behavior.

  158. This war has absolutely nothing to do with national security . The US Iran war started from the day when Iran stopped Oil trade in dollar currency and moved to Euro and started Iranian Bourses / the commodity exchange .
    US army chief revealed in 2003 that the target is 7 Arab countries , Started from Iraq moved along Libya will end at Iran .

  159. Back to reality. First, the West survived 4 decades of confrontation with a Soviet Union that was armed to the teeth with nukes - no ifs and maybes. Second, this Iran nonsense was starting to sound like the buildup to Iraq with its pretend WMD, and it was pushed by the same bad actors. Some of them are still invited onto TV panels for their "expert" opinion, instead of being run out of town and never being listened to again. If one thing above all else should disqualify Romney from getting anywhere near the White House, it's his choice of superhawk John Bolton as foreign policy adviser.

  160. And so will the speculators be lowering the price of oil accordingly?

    Ha! Ha! Ha! (doubt it)

  161. Iran's leaders want to eradicte Israel. Israel's leaders, remindful of the Nazi Holocaust, say, "Not Again". If the US wants to be more helpful to Jews than in the 1939s, it's time to park some Ohio class subs off Iran's shore, B2s at Diego Garcia, and a deploy a full complement of F22s, F15s, F16s, and F18s in the Gulf States, and watch Iran open itself to complete inspections.

    Iran has a "Supreme Leader". Iran's proxy Syria's Bashir Assad is killing thousands. Not exactly democratic ideals.

    Israel is a balancing agent. A lot of people want to destroy it, kill Jews. What is that all about? We have to figure out "Why is this happening?"

  162. Netanyahu and neo-cons kick started the open season on Iran with that weird assassination plot involving saudi ambassador. It was followed by terror killing of Iranian scientist in Tehran, followed by some Israeli orchestrated attacks in Delhi and Bangkok. The idea was to kick up a dust storm of fake terror to induce America into a military conflict with Iran.

    Now that open season seems to have come to an unfruitful end, all those attacks have ceased too. Wonder why!

  163. Oi Oi Oi……….Iran again?.Now what will happen to the Paranoid population of Israel and USA
    Are they going to suicide collectively or simply cool down with helplessness and bear with the situation. Uncle Sam and AIPAC paid congress probably not in a position to start another dirty war on behalf of Israel to see the dooms day before they can expect. Isn't true?

  164. If the settlements are the problem, what was the problem before they existed that prevented peace?

  165. Israel's expansionism as enunciated by David Ben Gurion and his successors.

  166. Thank goodness! And very sensible too...we don't need any more conflicts in the world.

  167. Temperature cooled? Prevent disruption of oil market before election?

    Does anyone even doubt for one moment that battle in the gulf was nothing more than an oil expedition in the first place? Watch the movie about George Bush. I did, but the title escapes my memory. It's not a documentary. Check out the video stores.

    I'm not one to put credence into the theatrics of entertainment, but this movie gives call to key factors that seem most valid based on what we do know about the events that lead to even the first war in Iraq. The apple never falls from the tree that nourishes it. George Bush Sr., was Vice President to Ronald Reagan, another good view at the video store.

    If fact is influenced by another persuasion in the above accounts, I'd bet my last dollar that someone talked, and truth is the substance in the both movies.

  168. "Iran has said that its 20 percent enrichment effort is for use in a research reactor, but the United States and Israel suspect that it is actually an interim step in efforts to reach 90 percent."

    Do the authors understand anything about the subject? Do they know why Iran embarked on enriching uranium to 20%. If not, they are not qualified to write about the subject.

    Iran embarked on this project only because Obama stupidly rejected the Tehran Declaration. In fact, has been proposing for two years that is it willing to forgo 20% enrichment if the West provides it to Iran. But, the Obama administration is apparently blind and deaf and cannot hear or see anything.

    Finally, I hope people would stop quoting or paying attention to Dennis Ross. For almost three years he was responsible for the disastrous US policy towards Iran. He is simply an agent of Israel. His opinions are worthless.

  169. Iran does indeed plan on making a bomb or at the very least having all the parts in place so several can be assembled in a very short time.
    Israel knows this, we know this, but a bit of time is needed.
    Like till after the elections.
    Good time to move out of Qm and Fodor.

  170. I think all nations should disarm because when the United States itself is developing more weapons, and some nations though invaders and colonists are encouraged by the U.S.A to develop nuclear weapons in the region ( Israel ), we should understand why others are eager to develop theirs !! no peace will reign in the world except if the United States as the world power acts first on the ideals of spreading justice upon which this great nation was founded...Don't blame others for things you yourself are doing !!

  171. Funny how none of the reasons why war with Iran is less likely is that the American people oppose another war. It shows that the US government does not take its people's thoughts into account when it is deciding whether or not to send those same people's children to kill and die in a foreign land.
    War with Iran is unthinkable- it would be beyond foolish and wasteful. It would prove that US foreign policy is dictated solely by out 'ally' Israel and war-profiteers.
    Iran is not and never has been a threat to the United States of America. I am more likely to be killed by a christian religious fundamentalist in my hometown than by Iranian covert or overt aggression.
    On a long enough timeline every nation stands to be the one to unleash nuclear holocaust- they are dangerous weapons whose sole purpose is to threaten entire cities of people (women, children, the elderly included).
    It is lunacy for any nation to have them.

  172. Now time to watch the price of oil drop, isn't that right speculators? (remember when Iran announced their production capabilities and the price of oil immediately rose $1/gallon over just 2-3 months?)!

  173. Why does Israel believe it has a right to possess nuclear weapons but that Iran does not have the same right?

    Because Israel is the only nation in the world that has been openly threatened with extinction and annihilation by its neighbors since its founding in 1948. Discussion about Israel's nuclear weapons should begin only when Israel's right to exist is accepted in the region. If Israel does have nuclear weapons, we will never know about them unless Israel is attacked.

    In contrast, Iran has been threatening to annihilate and destroy Israel for years and is promising to enrich uranium to do so,

    There is a difference. Israel is not threatening its neighbors. Iran is.

  174. The Iran is a Threat card has been put back in the deck. There it will stay until the political situation calls for it once more. It is a valuable card -- much like an Ace or a King of Diamonds, it can instantly demand the attention of all who are at the grand table and hold it for quite some time. The Iran is a Threat card loses no value over time either. On the contrary, it may greatly rise in value if it complements the cards in the president's hand. Do you want to hide high unemployment figures and a reduced economic growth forecast? Pull out the Iran is a Threat card! Are the president's approval ratings at an all time low? Pull out the Iran is a Threat card! Heck! It works in inverse, too. Iran is not a Threat! Putting this card back in the deck is nearly as good as showing it in your hand.

  175. A good thing that "experts" believe that a war with Iran is now "unlikely." Since they were the ones that made it "likely" in the first place, we can now breathe easier.

  176. Obama has done a good job of hauling the Iranians to the table with a series of carrots and sticks. I do worry about the long-term wisdom of the carrot of letting al-Maliki run roughshod in Iraq. But Bibi tried to push Obama by sticking his fingers into the US election; Obama has every right to push back, and the pushing back is a carrot in itself. The Iranians are no doubt warming to Obama because they think they'll get the best deal possible from him, so they'd better sign before the US election.

  177. The Obama administration will dump Israel to get re elected. I notice that Israel is not mentioned, only "other international" countries. Code for "no one of significance." When will the US populace realize that US politicians will do ANYTHING to perpetuated their hold on their power, however foolish that seems to those outside the Beltway.