The Atlantic Iran Panel: Chance of War Increases

The Atlantic's Iran War Dial, expertly managed by Dominic Tierney, is now at 38 percent, meaning that, according to the 22 panelists, there is a 38 percent chance the U.S. or Israel will strike Iran's nuclear facilities in the next year. This is a slight bump over last month. Tierney explains the rise:

In July, the panel's average estimate of the chances of an Israeli or U.S. strike on Iran in the next year was 38 percent. This is a 2-point increase on June's figure of 36 percent and snaps a 3-month streak where the chances of conflict steadily declined.

July saw the introduction of a new round of sanctions on Iran, including an EU oil embargo, which Iranian officials described as "warfare."

In a meeting with Mitt Romney, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed for a tough stance. "All the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota. We need a strong and credible military threat coupled with sanctions."

One of Romney's top foreign policy aides promised that a Romney White House would "respect" Israel's decision to strike Iran. This deliberate loosening of the reins could make the threat of an Israeli attack more credible. But it could also diminish Washington's capacity to restrain Israel.

Meanwhile, negotiations with Iran appear to have stalled. Each side's diplomatic B Team, or the deputy negotiators, met in Istanbul last week. But there was little sign of progress, and the A Teams are still waiting in the wings.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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