June 30, 2012
The new Aviation Week reports: “Evidence is mounting that the US defense community and the Obama administration view 2013 as the likely window for a bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear and missile facilities. It could be earlier, timed to use the chaos of the Syrian government’s fall to disguise such an attack…”
According to the journal, “Iran’s intransigence over shutting down its uranium-enrichment program will not buy it much more time… The tools for such an attack are all operational” and the US is coming around to suspect that Iran has already conducted its first nuclear test in North Korea.
Aviation Week’s report appeared after a failed attempt Friday, June 29, to bridge US-Russian differences on Syria was made by US Secretary of State and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in St. Petersburg. Moscow refuses to accept any solution that would entail Bashar Assad’s removal or foreign intervention in Damascus.
UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is to present a proposal for a transitional unity government to the new Action Group on Syria meeting in Geneva Saturday. According to his plan, the government would include opposition representation but (without mentioning Assad) exclude figures complicit in the 15-month bloody suppression of dissent.
He had hoped that the presence at the meeting of all five UN Security Council veto-wielders, Arab League members and Turkey would make it possible to gain international endorsement of an agreed road map for the transition of power in Damascus without resorting to the Security Council again. However, after the failed St. Petersburg encounter, its chances of taking off are slim. Asked about this, a senior US official commented: “We may get there, we may not.”