It’s always a worry when an Israeli envoy to the US, in this case a neoconservative Straussian like Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, makes a categorical statement of denial such as this. Even if they aren’t actually going to attack right now, one just knows that an Iran strike has been discussed between the two countries and to deny that an Iran strike has not been discussed is a straight out lie.
Oren insists that both the US and Israel are focussing on sanctions against Iran, despite China’s recent refusal to support further sanctions in the UN, leaving only low level economic impact sanctions capability by the US and Israel and a handful of other nations they are able to influence. Russia and China, however, are likely to fill any void left by such sanctions thus rendering US/Israel sanctions ineffective – as, indeed, they have so far.
Ambassador Oren’s words mean nothing. Israel for years have been pleading with the US to hit Iran for the purpose of regime change thus giving Israel an advantage in their fight against Hezbollah and Hamas who are supported by Iran. While George W. Bush was president the opportunity existed for such a strike if Israel could have only have provoked a suitable casus belli. They were unable to but it wasn’t through the lack of trying. The 2006 wars against both Hamas in the Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, then again against Gaza in 2008/2009 were direct attempts to provoke Iran into confrontation. Iran, wisely, did not oblige despite the provocations. Now, with Obama as president, Israel needs to tread far more carefully if it is to have any chance of having US support when an opportunity arises for Israel to once again attempt a confrontation with Iran.
And, of course, the last thing Israel wants is for Iran to actually concede to their demands over nuclear energy. It leaves the regime in place and, most importantly of all as far as the Israelis are concerned, it means Hamas and Hezbollah will continue to be supported by Iran.
The Israelis are simply playing for time while they orchestrate an opportunity to create a casus belli to attack with the full support of the US.