Monday, June 28, 2010

Is a military strike on Iran imminent? The G8 thinks Israel will do it

Robin Shepherd

Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister of Italy, is an unconventional politician and he is difficult to predict. But even Berlusconi is surely too well versed in the customs of international diplomacy to make predictions about Israel attacking Iran without very good grounds for doing so. On the sidelines of the G8* summit in Canada on Saturday he said the following:

“Iran is not guaranteeing a peaceful production of nuclear power [so] the members of the G-8 are worried and believe absolutely that Israel will probably react pre-emptively.” (My italics) Unless Berlusconi is being completely irresponsible, this sounds like a warning that something may be imminent. It is also worth noting that Berlusconi’s remarks came the day before CIA director Leon Panetta said Iran probably has enough uranium to build two nuclear weapons within the next two years.

It is highly unlikely that Panetta would have gone public on such a sensitive issue for no good reason. The same goes for Berlusconi. So, my guess as to what is going on is as follows: Either Israel is about to attack Iran and all of this is designed to prepare the world for what is coming; Or, this is a last ditch attempt to frighten the Iranians into compliance by explicitly putting the imminent use of force on the table.

Obviously, I have no inside track on what is going on. But you don’t need a sixth sense to recognise that something significant is afoot.

* The G8 is made up of the following countries: The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Canada.

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