President Sarkozy of France in an article published today in Le Nouvel Observateur, expressed his concerns over the tension between Iran and Israel which might eventually lead to war. He regards the conflict between Israel and Iran as more dangerous than the possibility of an American air strike on Iran. “The problem for us is,” he said, “not so much the risk that the Americans could launch a military intervention, but that the Israelis consider their security is truly threatened.” Despite the recent US intelligence report which concluded that Iran is not engaged in trying to develop nuclear weapons, many Israeli government leaders and members of the military do not believe those conclusions and are convinced that Iran is pursuing a policy of making nuclear weapons. In his interview, Sarkozy emphasized, “everyone agrees that what the Iranians are doing has no civilian explanation. The only debate is whether they will have military capability in one year or in five years.” He also offered to visit Tehran to discuss ways in which his nation could work with Iran on peaceful nuclear uses.
Of course, “everyone” does not agree that Iran is working on nuclear weapons, that was the essential thrust of the US intelligence report. Is it possible that Iran might have nuclear weapons in five years? Of course that possibility exists. But, many things might change in the coming five years such as the most probable replacement of Ahmadinejad as president. A new president in America might be able to re-establish positive relations with Iran and reduce tensions. The main significance of the US intelligence report is that there is no immediate need for action. The world has a few years to deal with the issue of Iranian nuclear weapons ever coming into existence.