(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - “The really interesting thing about the Israeli situation is…that the heads of the three Israeli intelligence services do not seem to be recommending any military attack,” Thomas R. Pickering said on Tuesday.
“It involves many to many risks and complications and it is unlikely to achieve, in any serious and continuing way, the objective of stopping the Iranian (nuclear energy) program,” Pickering noted.
Referring to recent remarks by Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, that they will take a decision on whether or not to strike Iran independently, without the US authorization, Pickering argued that such an attack will not be “the wisest bet.”
“I believe if you were to attack Iran militarily under the current situation, one result would be that they will have a perfectly legitimate reason for saying ‘We had no interest in a bomb, but now that we have been attacked we obviously have to make a bomb.’ So it is counterproductive,” he added.
Turning to the escalating tension between Iran and US, the former American diplomat stated that mutual distrust between Tehran and Washington is the main obstacle that stalls a diplomatic settlement of the existing disputes between the two countries.
Pickering noted that the Iranians have their reasons to be suspicious of the US, “and this disrupts the very possibility of diplomatic settlement of the ongoing crisis.”
He proposed that the US must begin with the idea that the Iranians advanced two months ago that they would stop enriching uranium to 20 percent if provided with the fuel elements.
The US and Israel have been escalating war rhetoric on Iran during the past few months, claiming that Iran seeks to produce nuclear weapons under the cover of its nuclear energy program.
On Friday, March 2, US President Obama threatened Iran with a military strike, over the country’s nuclear energy program, telling the Atlantic magazine that the US is “not taking any options off the table.”
Iran has denied the Western allegations, promising a crushing response to any military strike against the country.
Tehran has also warned that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.