The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Friday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On speculation about an Israeli strike on Iran:

Well, I think there’s also a real chance that Israel will do this. I believe that in the end Israel will attack if the program is not stopped — at a point where Israel’s intelligence is that Iran is at a point of breaking out.

Now, what persuades me that this is perhaps a false alarm is the fact that when Israel has attacked nuclear facilities in the past, against Iraq in 1981 and the strike on the Syrian site in 2007, it had been out of the blue, completely secret, a surprise. Israel has to have the element of surprise, especially in an attack on Iran, because Iran is a lot longer away, and the planes it would send up would be extremely liable to be attacked if the other side had preparation. So that would dissuade me.

In addition, there’s the evidence of dissension in the Israeli cabinet, and also among the Israeli high command.

Now, Israel has been training. I think it is capable of doing this. The only thing that might indicate Israel would want to act sooner is that, if America is out of Iraq by the end of this year, it’s not going to have that obvious shortest route to Iran over Iraq that would be essentially safe.

But nonetheless, on balance I think it’s less likely that this would occur after all the huge publicity around a possible strike.

On changes in IAEA reports since the 2007 American National Intelligence Estimate that Iran had ceased its nuclear program:

At the time it was clearly an erroneous report. It was clearly aimed at destroying any chance of the previous administration even entertaining a strike, and it succeeded in doing that. That report is completely refuted by evidence at the time and, of course, subsequent evidence.

What’s important here is that IAEA … previously had been under El Baradei, the Egyptian who in fact now is a presidential candidate, who had covered a lot of evidence on behalf of Iran. He is extremely unsympathetic to Israel.

Now that it’s under new leadership, we are getting frank reports, unapologetic reports, clear reports including this [new] evidence — it’s impossible to interpret what the IAEA has discovered by any explanation other than Iran is bent on developing a nuclear weapon….

So it’s unmistakable. It’s unlike CIA evidence in the case of Iraq in which you could say it was tainted. This is IAEA. It’s not a pro-Israel organization. And it is unmistakable what Iran is doing. Everybody understands that, and there is no way of denying it.

On Friday’s Greek Parliament confidence vote:

This is hugely important…. We had a huge rally in the markets last week when we thought there was an agreement between EU and Greece. And then there was a [market] collapse on Monday and Tuesday when the prime minister had said there would be a referendum, which would undermine it [the agreement]. He then pulled back on the referendum.

But if the prime minister had not succeeded in this vote that would mean the government would have collapsed. You would have had [ushered in] a large period of uncertainty. Who would be in charge? Would anybody in charge actually implement the EU deal? The markets would have been extremely unsteady. I think there would have been a plunge. This is a life raft.


NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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