Sunday, August 5, 2012

Time Marches On: Panetta, Netanyahu on Iran

Sir, - Thursday's front-page headline "Panetta, Netanyahu disagree on time left to stop Iran's nuclear race" is of critical importance and needs to be analyzed carefully and clearly understood, as this has existential significance for the State of Israel and perhaps for the entire world.


While there seems to be agreement between the United States and Israel on the need to prevent Iran from producing an actual nuclear bomb, significant differences remain about the prevention of Iran's achievement of the capability of producing a bomb if it so desired. There is in addition, disagreement about the effectiveness of sanctions in halting Iran's race toward reaching their nuclear goals. Israel is convinced that the sanctions, while having an effect, do not deter or delay Iran on its nuclear path at all, and indeed serve only to grant them time to accelerate their activities.

However when dealing with the "time left to stop Iran's nuclear race" as mentioned in the headlines, the well being of Israel requires the full recognition that it is running and being measured by two distinctly different clocks. The Israel clock marks the time it takes for Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons, while the clock in the United Sates is focused on the time left for the presidential elections.

Petach Tikva

[Image credit: Secretary of Defense]