Based on what’s just been made public via WikiLeaks about Middle East discussions surrounding what to do about Iran, Andrew Sullivan speculates that “the Israelis could launch World War III within a month.”
And at Wired, Spencer Ackerman flags this in the recent leak of over 200,000 U.S. diplomatic cables:
Perhaps the most worrisome news to come out the diplo doc dump is that North Korea secretly gave Iran 19 powerful missiles with a range of 2,000 miles. The missiles, known as the BM-25, are modified from Russian R-27s, which were submarine-based missiles carrying nuclear weapons. “If fired from Iran,” the New York Times notes, a missile with that range could “let its warheads reach targets as far away as Western Europe, including Berlin.” The BM-25, unveiled in a North Korean military parade last month, may be North Korea’s longest-range missile yet. Ares’ David A. Fulgham observed that its design “is showing second-stage and nose-cone design characteristics associated with Iran’s Shahab 3 missile,” indicating growing missile ties between the two rogue states. No wonder why European leaders are suddenly so keen on missile defense. And no wonder why so many of the leaders of the Arab Middle East are increasingly freaked out by Iran’s growing conventional arsenal — and nuclear program. Bahrain’s King Hamad argued last November “for taking action to terminate [Iran’s] nuclear program, by whatever means necessary,” one cable reads. Sounding like George W. Bush, Hamad told General David Petraeus, “The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.”
And the Guardian reveals this little blood chilling detail:
The cables . . . highlight Israel’s anxiety to preserve its regional nuclear monopoly, its readiness to go it alone against Iran – and its unstinting attempts to influence American policy. The defence minister, Ehud Barak, estimated in June 2009 that there was a window of “between six and 18 months from now in which stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons might still be viable”. After that, Barak said, “any military solution would result in unacceptable collateral damage.”
Ehud Barak’s 18 month window closes in December, 2010.