The failure of negotiations and sanctions to end Iran's nuclear program make an Israeli attack probable in the near future, but such an attack would be of little value without US involvement. Israel doesn't have the conventional weapons necessary to cause significant harm to Iran's nuclear program (a,d). The US has these weapons including air refueling tankers, heavy bombers, and GBU-57s - massive ordnance penetrators. I submit Israel would not attack Iran if they did not calculate they could involve the US. During an Israeli attack on Iran, an Israeli submarine could get within striking distance of the Enterprise and launch a Soviet Sunburn supersonic, anti ship missile. Iran has such missiles.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stated Tehran will retaliate against any attack by Israeli or American forces "on the same level that they attack us." (b) I interpret this to mean Iran is attempting to deter actions against them by threatening to respond in kind, but should they be attacked, they will not respond disproportionately. They do not wish military actions to escalate. I submit an attack on a neutral USS Enterprise would be an escalation they would not undertake.
Israel is not just bluffing in order to push through greater sanctions. Sanctions are nearly or are fully maxed out yet the saber rattling continues. Defense Secretary Panetta in early February stated his belief that there was a "strong likelihood" Israel would strike Iran in April, May, or June (c). This time line did not happen, but senior Americans doubt the Israelis are bluffing (c). In addition former, senior Israeli military and intelligence leaders have come out publicly to condemn the imprudence of an Israeli attack (d). These leaders would not take such public action if they knew Netanyahu and Barak were bluffing. They would have supported the bluff and kept quiet. They are not quiet. This is not a bluff.
Military analysts quoted in the Economist (a) indicate an Israeli attack without American support would be relatively ineffective. Mr. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dempsey have both warned Israeli leaders that if they, attacked they would be on their own (a). A false flag operation, however, could cause America to join Israel in actions against Iran.
On 2/13/ 2012 Actor Ed Asner on the Alex Jones Show disclosed he'd been approached by active duty Navy Seals who told Asner war was coming with a false flag operation (e). Asner is politically active, and the Seals thought he could bring public attention to this possibility in hopes of stopping it. Asner shared that the summer and fall were likely times for such an operation.
I first became concerned about a possible false flag operation against an American carrier four years ago when the decommissioning of the USS Kitty Hawk was postponed. The Kitty Hawk was stationed at Yokosuka Japan and, as I saw it, was available for service in the Persian Gulf. She was to be replaced by the USS George Washington and de commissioned. On 5/22/2008 a fire on the George Washington required extensive repairs which delayed her replacing the Kitty Hawk. Amazingly, also on 5/22/2008, House Congressional Resolution 362 was introduced. The bill specifically claimed not to authorize force but then "demanded" an embargo to keep refined petroleum out of Iran. Such an embargo could have only been accomplished with the use of military force (f). The timing of these events may have been simple coincidence, but if you're going to stage a false flag operation, it would seem reasonable it be against a well known ship soon to be decommissioned.
I and others (g) see a possible attack on the Enterprise for several reasons: She is the next to oldest ship in the fleet after the USS Constitution and is set to be de activated at the end of the year. She began her last, seven months deployment to the Persian Gulf/ Arabian Sea on 3/11th. She is also the world's longest naval vessel, the world's first nuclear carrier, and given her 50 year history (h), her sinking would make a significant political impact. America would demand vengeance. I would demand vengeance, but it would be vengeance against those actually responsible.
I submit if the neutral USS Enterprise is sunk during or subsequent to an Israeli attack, it will be a false flag operation not an attack by Iran.