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On January 17, 2012 – Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, head of the Israel Occupation Force (IOF) planning department, told reporters in Jerusalem that once Iran poseses nuclear arsenal, it will make hard for Israel to defeat Hamas and Hizbullah.

”If we are forced to do things in Gaza or in Lebanon – under the Iranian nuclear umbrella it might be different,” said Amir Eshel.

Earlier, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon slammed the Obama administration for not taking military action against Islamic Republic. Obama, Yaalon indicated, is concerned that an armed conflict with Iran could cost him a second term in the White House.

Eshel also expressed his fears that a regime change in Damascus will be bad news for Israel as Syria’s “huge stockpile of chemical weapons” could reach Hizbullah.

Amir Ethel’s remarks have infuriated Benji Netanyahu and his warmongering ministers. Benji is trying to override Israeli Chief of Staff Gen. Benny Gantz’s choice of Ethel as the new Chief of Air Force. Benji wants his military secretary, Maj. Gen. Yochanan Locker to head the Air Force. According to some senior military officials, both Ethel and Locker agree with Gantz that an Israeli military attack on Iran will be suicidal for Israel. They prefer American boots in Iran.

Last Wednesday, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak backed down from his earlier war rhetoric by claiming on Israel’s Army Radio that any attack on Iran is “very far off”, adding “we have not made any decision to do this”. Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on January 18 that “Israel believes Iran itself has not yet decided whether to make a nuclear bomb”.

This puts the Zionist regime in line with senior US policy and intelligence officials – like Israel-Firsters Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – who have tenaciously held to the “Iran-has-not-yet-decided” judgment since it was promulgated unanimously by the 16 US intelligence agencies (NIE) in November 2007 which reported: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program“.

On January 8, while appearing on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer, Panetta made the politically wrong assertion that Iran is not making a nuclear bomb. This sent hell loose in Israel and its chestbeating American Ziocons. They feared that Obama administration was steering toward some sort of ‘coexistence’ dialogue with Iranian leaders. This did not sit well in Israel. Three days after Panetta’s statement, Mossad’s assassins struct in Tehran and killed Iran’s senior nuclear scientist, Dr. Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast .

Obama administration’s reaction to the latest assassination came as a surprise to Israel. On January 12, Obama called Benji on phone, signaling not only his displeasure with the murder of Roshan but annoyance over what appeared to be an Israeli strategy to ratchet up tensions with Iran. Washington slapped Tel Aviv by canceling large-scale joint US-Israeli military exercises planned for this spring without any cogent explanation.

Last week, Obama sent his military boss, Gen. Martin Dempsey, to Tel Aviv to please his Jewish campaign funders. Ray McGovern, former US military intelligence officer and CIA analyst, says that it’s hard to trust Israeli intentions. “Dempsey’s visit bears close watching to see if the alteration in Israeli rhetoric is durable and reflected on the ground. In the past, Israel’s Likud leaders have played hardball with American leaders, often by enlisting the help of their influential allies in the United States. If “regime change” remains the real priority, then Israeli leaders won’t be likely to warm to the idea of negotiating over Iran’s nuclear program“.