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Is Washington Coming Around to an Israeli Strike on Iran?

Amos Yadlin

The Times of Israel reports that Amos Yadlin, chief of the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate from 2006 to 2010, indicated in an interview on Wednesday that people in the Obama administration may be softening their stance on an Israeli strike against Iran:

“In 2012 the [Americans’] red light was as red as it can get, the brightest red,” Yadlin said in an interview with Army Radio Wednesday morning. “But the music I’m hearing lately from Washington says, ‘If this is truly an overriding Israeli security interest, and you think you want to strike,’ then the light hasn’t changed to green, I think, but it’s definitely yellow.”

Attentive readers may have pricked up their ears at the general’s choice of words: this is the kind of language that was being bandied about in the run-up to the Six Day War. As Ephraim Evron, a minister at the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. from 1965 to 1968, later recalled, “From a red light, opposing the war, we understood that the light had changed to yellow. The Americans didn’t give us a green light to go to war, but they signaled to us that they would not repeat what the Eisenhower administration had done in 1957.”

Whether General Yadlin was consciously evoking this language only he knows. But the general is a serious man and is well connected in Washington. His words should not be dismissed out of hand.

[Amos Yadlin image courtesy of R. D. Ward]

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  • Corlyss

    “Is Washington Coming Around To An Israeli Strike On Iran?”

    Not as long as Val Jarrett is running foreign policy. IOW never on Obama’s watch.

    • ljgude

      At the same time I think Bibi, General Yadlin and the rest have known that they were on their own for some time – and the calculus will based on what Israel needs to do to protect itself. I have a lot of respect for what Barry Rubin writes on the subject and he thinks Israel will not strike Iran. I agree that the ideological set of the administration would be against striking Iran.

      • Corlyss

        That’s too bad. I can’t think of a better curative for what ails US foreign policy and a better wake-up call for Teheran than a few well-placed bunker busters, with one accidently falling out of the plane over the Ayatollah’s offices.

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