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'Nuclear' Iran may be wild card in 2012 US prez election

Washington, Tue, 31 Jan 2012 ANI

Washington, Jan 31(ANI): Israel's possible military action against Iran's nuclear program will have a huge impact on the 2012 White House election, an assessment has said.


US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had earlier speculated that the possible military action would not take place until three years or so.


"If they decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon," Panetta has said.


But Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said it is only a "matter of months" before Iran has nuclear capability, contradicting Panetta's claims.


Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak had also warned that if action is not taken against Iran soon "it will not be possible" to stop it from potentially using nuclear weapons.


Top aides to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Fox News that the timeline for launching a unilateral strike against Iran is shorter.


Israeli officials believe that military action could be a last resort option to target Iran's nuclear assets but analysts are sharply divided about whether such a move would also led to turmoil in the Middle East into chaos.


Meanwhile, Iran seems to be gearing for the war.


"We will rigorously confront any threat or hostile behavior, and our response will be definitely regretful and destructive," Iran's Joint Armed Forces Staff's General Masoud Jazayeri said.


An international security expert, Jim Walsh, expressed hope that a military conflict could be averted, as Iran has welcomed that a three-day inspection tour by the International Atomic Energy Agency.


"That's probably better than having a third war in the Middle East. So I think that's a positive. But you know, we shouldn't get too excited here. I wouldn't go overboard. We're at the beginning of this process," Walsh said. (ANI)


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