Today, a new report out of London that Israel will launch a military attack against Iran as early as December to halt the development of its nuclear program seized parts of the blogosphere. The report in The Daily Mail cites a Foreign Office source saying, "We’re expecting something as early as Christmas, or very early in the New Year.” The report adds that "Israel will attempt to strike against the nuclear sites ‘sooner rather than later’ – with logistical support from the U.S." We're not experts on Israel-Iran relations but we seem to have heard threats of such a strike before. When was that?
July 2011 Robert Baer, a CIA officer who spent more than 20 years in the Middle East, said Israel will bomb Iran in the fall. "It will be followed by a war with Iran. It is the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end," he said on the KPFK Los Angeles show Background Briefing.
November 2010 When U.S. State Department cables were leaked by WikiLeaks last year, a number of reports surfaced that Israel was on the brink of striking Iran sometime in 2010. They stemmed from a conversation between Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak and a member of Congress in which Barak said that a window existed "between six and 18 months from now in which stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons might still be viable."
September 2010 Jeffrey Goldberg, senior writer at The Atlantic, said based on his sources "there is a better than 50 percent chance that Israel will launch a strike by next July."
April 2010 Former Israeli deputy defense minister Brig. Gen. Ephraim Sneh in an op-ed in Haaretz said Israel would attack Iran by November unless the U.S. and other countries impose "crippling sanctions that will undermine the regime in Tehran." He said "for practical reasons, in the absence of genuine sanctions, Israel will not be able to wait until the end of next winter, which means it would have to act around the congressional elections in November."
August 30, 2009 Micah Zenko, fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writing for the Los Angeles Times. "Iran has until late September to respond to the latest international proposal aimed at stopping the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon ... if diplomacy fails, the world should be prepared for an Israeli attack on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons facilities."
July 28, 2009 In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said Israel could likely attack Iran by the end of 2009. "Iran’s progress with nuclear weapons and air defenses means Israel’s military option is declining over time. It will have to make a decision soon, and it will be no surprise if Israel strikes by year’s end." He made the same prediction a month later during an interview on Russia Today.
January 5, 1995 Chris Hedges, a reporter for The New York Times, writes that Iran may build a bomb within five years. "Senior Israeli officials say that if the program is not halted, they will be forced to consider attacking Iran's nuclear reactors."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.