A senior U.S. source told Asharq Al-Awsat that if there is a war against Iran, Barack Obama’s presidency “will be over” and so will the peace process in the Middle East. “An American war on Iran would mean entering a twenty-year battle with the Islamic world starting from Afghanistan and Iraq to Iran,” according to the major pan-Arabic newspaper’s reporter Huda Al Husseini.
“I understood from my source that Obama cannot launch a war against Iran until conditions stabilize,” Husseini wrote. “He cannot embark on a war without negotiating the issue.” Such a war would be “difficult and costly,” she noted, claiming that senior officers in the U.S. army oppose it, asking – “how can we not live with a nuclear Iran if we can live with a nuclear Pakistan, which is less stable than Iran?”
CIA Director Leon Panetta visited Israel two weeks ago and asked to see documents in Israel’s possession that confirm that Iran is producing a nuclear weapon, according to the report. Panetta requested that the Israelis “do not rush into anything.” This was reportedly followed by a similar request from Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will head to Israel along with George Mitchell, the special U.S. envoy to the Middle East, on July 27, for talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Al Husseini speculated that “one of them will talk about war and the other about peace.”
“There is no doubt,” she wrote, “that since the Iranian elections and the internal crisis that followed, (bearing in mind the possibility that this crisis might spill over beyond its borders), the US leadership and Israel, as well as Russia and Europe, will revise their policies towards Iran.”