An unnamed "US military source" said "American armed forces are standing ready for war with Iran." Prioritized is "destroy(ing) Iran's Shebab-3 ballistic missile batteries."
They can strike Israel, Gulf states, and US regional bases. Iran's missile arsenal is large. Syria and Hezbollah have their own. War might unite them against a common foe. None seek conflict but will defend themselves effectively if attacked.
Tiny Israel would be battered. So would US regional assets. Level-headed commanders know the risks.
DF claims America's Aegis missile defense, Israel's Arrow rockets and Iron Dome offer adequate protection. Putting them to the test may prove them more porous than protective. Neither country wants that known if true.
On August 4, Defense Minister Brig. General Ahmad Vahidi said Iran successfully test-fired its fourth generation Fateh 100 missile. Its range is 300km. It's able to strike and destroy land and sea targets with 100% accuracy.
Few countries match this capability, he added. He stressed it's strictly defensive against aggression. Iran threatens no one. It's prepared to defend itself effectively if attacked.
On August 4, Reuters said Israel's cabinet hasn't discussed Iran since last October. With war imminent, consideration would be prioritized. Against Syria and Hezbollah also as action against one might involve them all.
An unnamed Israeli official said it's possible post-October Iran was discussed. No "concrete decisions or policy advances" were taken. Cabinet members are split on Iranian policy. So are retired IDF generals and Mossad officials.
"Israel's top military and intelligence echelon were 'entirely against' launching a unilateral strike...." Doing so takes on formidable opposition, they believe. It might also be self-destructive.
Days earlier, former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy warned about a possible attack in weeks. Don't underestimate Israel's resolve, he said. At the same time, Netanyahu said no decision was made. The usual all options are on the table repeats. It's wearing thin.
On August 5, Haaretz headlined "In comments about Iran attack, Israeli ex-officials may be sounding the alarm," saying:
"In the past 72 hours, three former top guns of Israeli intelligence have discussed, with unnerving candor, a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Do they know something that remains opaque to the public?"
Earlier whispers became audible. More public debate is heard. Two former top Israeli intelligence officials oppose attacking unilaterally.
Major General (res.) Aharon Ze'evi Farkash believes doing so is likely. He calls it a mistake. He disagrees with Defense Minister Ehud Barak claiming Tehran nears an "immunity threshold" after which it would be impervious to attack.
Ignored are annual US intelligence reports saying no evidence suggests Iran is developing nuclear weapons. All US, other Western, and Israeli officials (past and present) accept it as fact.
It doesn't deter hawkish rhetoric or possible plans. Iran's nuclear program is more pretext than threat. Israel wants a regional rival removed. Washington wants independent leaders replaced by pro-Western puppets.