Sources in Washington commented Wednesday night, Aug. 6, that, while it is unlikely that Israel would attack Iran without US approval, this might change if tough sanctions were taken off the table. They reported Israel was building up its strike capabilities for an attack, had purchased 90 F-16I planes that can carry enough fuel to reach Iran and would receive another 11 by the end of next year. The Jewish state had also bought two new Dolphin submarines from Germany capable of firing nuclear-armed warheads, in addition to the three already in service with its navy.
According to foreign media, Israel is active inside Iranian territory.
DEBKAfile reports that this information was leaked by Washington sources, apparently to warn Moscow that by closing the door to sanctions, it was opening the door to an Israeli attack.
A few hours earlier by Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin: “There have been no firm agreements or understandings or any kind of concerted work” against Iran over its nuclear program.” He took exception to US and British statements that a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions was on the cards against Iran for its ambiguous response to the six-power incentives.
The sources disclosed that Israel, believing Tehran will have enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb by next year or 2010 at the latest, is worried about Washington’s softening on Iran and intention to open a US office in Tehran.
Washington sources report that Israeli is building up its strike capabilities and appears confident that a military attack would cripple Tehran’s nuclear program even if its installations were too widely scattered to be completely wiped out.
US, British, Russian, Chinese, French, German and European officials spoke by conference earlier in the day. The US and Britain said they had agreed to consider a possible fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions for lack of a clear yes or no from Tehran on the suspension of uranium enrichment in return for incentives.
This the Russian ambassador denied. He also said Moscow had set no deadline for Iran to respond to the offer made on June 19. “The negotiating track is open, there are contacts between the parties,” he said. While Russian would have preferred a clear response, “It’s more complicated than that as we all know.”
He suggested that further talks among the six powers would take place in September on the sidelines of the next UN General Assembly.