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Israeli ex-intelligence chief hints at possibility of Iran attack in coming months

JTA

August 2, 2012 | 10:13 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Aug. 1. Photo by REUTERS/Mark Wilson

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Aug. 1. Photo by REUTERS/Mark Wilson

An Israeli ex-intelligence chief hinted at the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran in the coming months.

Speaking to the New York Times, Efraim Halevy, former chief of Israel’s Mossad, said that “If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks.”

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met in Israel with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Times reported that some American officials believe that Israel may attack Iran this year.

Speaking in Israel on Wednesday, Panetta said that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“We have options that we are prepared to implement to ensure that that does not happen,” Panetta said, according to the Times. “My responsibility is to provide the president with a full range of options, including military options, should diplomacy fail.”

The Times reported that Netanyahu questioned the effectiveness of diplomatic efforts and sanctions aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its alleged nuclear weapons program.

“Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program,” Netanyahu said, according to the Times. “This must change and it must change quickly because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.”

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