Opinion Brief

Will Israel attack Iran in the next three days?

With Iran about to put fuel rods into its first nuclear reactor, a former Bush adminstration official says it's now or never

Iran has announced that this weekend it will begin installing fuel rods at the Bushehr reactor, the country's first nuclear power plant — an action that potentially marks a key step in the production weapons-grade nuclear material. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton says that, in light of this news, Israel has only days to attack the reactor and thwart the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions. Once the rods are in, he says, it's too dangerous to strike. Is a new war afoot in the Middle East? (Watch a Fox Business discussion about Iran's nuclear reactors)

Israel needs to act: Stopping Iran's nuclear progress is about to get much harder, says Marisol Seibold at Jihad Watch. As Bolton points out, Israel needs to bomb the Bushehr reactor before the fuel rods go in, or not at all. Sadly, its reasonable to expect that the international community — including Israel — will remain "complacent" until Iran tests its first bomb."Iran expects to commission first nuclear reactor this Saturday"

Enough with the alarmism: Keep in mind that, "according to Bolton, right now is always the best time to attack Iran," says Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy. "In July 2009, he said that Israel would likely attack by the end of last year. In June 2008, he said it would have be before the end of the Bush administration. Way back in 2007, he was saying that 'time is limited.'" Don't expect him to stop trying anytime soon."Bolton: Israel has eight days to attack Iran"

Talks are still the best solution: A military strike, by Israel or the U.S., "would occasion cheers from neocons in Washington," says Bob Barr in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but it "would set in motion a series of events that would make the Iraq quagmire look like a walk in the park." Fortunately, President Obama seems to recognize that "there remains a significant reservoir of pro-American sentiment throughout most segments of Iranian society," and the way to turn that to our advantage is to extend a "small olive branch" and hold direct Washington-Teheran meetings."It’s time for direct U.S.-Iran meetings"

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