June 25, 2012
On Saturday, the Israeli newspaper Haartez  reported a senior Israeli official as saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to attack Iran prior to the elections in the U.S.
“U.S. defense contracts, an Iranian F-16 acquisition, and Israel’s new military preparations suggest that all sides are getting ready for whatever may come,” Haaretz wrote, citing a report posted by Business Insider.
Business Insider and Haaretz did not venture to speculate when Israel would launch an attack.
On Sunday, Michael Carmichael  suggested the attack would occur during the Democrat national convention.
“Military experts have long agreed that the ‘sweet spot’ for an Israeli attack on Iran will be this coming September or October precisely because of the timing of the US presidential election cycle,” Carmichael explains.
“For maximum political impact and minimal diplomatic responsiveness, the time of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC – September 3-6 comes within this window of opportunity as well as the days immediately prior to the US election – say from Halloween till the 6th of November.”
Carmichael notes that elections have played an instrumental role in military activities. He mentions Israel’s Operation Cast Lead and argues it was timed to coincide with the transition between Obama and Bush and ended abruptly immediately before the Inauguration in January 2009. He also mentions the Tet Offensive in early 1968 that removed LBJ from the race for the White House.
In May, Jeffrey Goldberg  wrote that Netanyahu has settled political differences within his ruling coalition and this makes an attack more likely.
On Thursday, Israel said a military strike is more likely now that talks between Iran and the West on Iran’s nuclear program have failed.
“I don’t want to pretend to set timelines for the world,” said Defense Minister Ehud Barak  about a new round of sanctions imposed on Iran, “but we have said loud and clear that it cannot be a matter of weeks but it (also) cannot be a matter of years.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s visit to Israel  today underscores the seriousness of the situation. Putin is to meet with Netanyahu and other Israeli officials to talk about Iran and Syria. Russia opposes any military response to Iran’s nuclear program.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov  said last week on Russian television that in order to settle the Iranian issue, “it’s necessary to refrain from constant threats of using force, abandon scenarios aimed against Iran and stop dismissing the talks as failure.”