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Dual-National Iranians Flee, Fearing Israeli Attack

Iranian businesspeople with dual citizenship and foreign passports are leaving the Islamic Republic fearing an Israeli attack, sources say.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 11/13/2011, 10:28 AM

Iran-Tehran Flags
Iran-Tehran Flags
Montage by A7 Staff

Iranians who are able to flee their country are doing so, fearing an Israeli attack, Voice of Israel state radio reported Sunday. Iranian business people who hold dual citizenship with passports from European nations are allegedly leaving in droves.

They apparently fear that Israel is preparing to attack Iran's nuclear facilities to eliminate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's oft-repeated threat to annihilate the Jewish State.

In a radio interview, a Palestinian Authority business owner with strong ties in Iran reported that many Iranians fear a “major attack” by Israel that would cause “terrible damage,” especially in Tehran. The source had returned to Israel over the weekend after spending some time in Iran.

On Saturday, an explosion at an Iranian Revolutionary Guards depot near Tehran killed at least 17 soldiers, with some reports claiming that up to 27 people were killed, and two locations were involved. The cause of the explosion is not clear.

Meanwhile, Israel is indeed refusing to share its plans with anyone, including the United States, raising concerns that it may be planning a “loner attack” sometime within the next year.

The Jewish State last month politely rejected American demands last month for guarantees that Israel would give a “heads up” in case it decides to attack Iran, said sources quoted by the British Telegraph newspaper.

A brief but urgent conversation between U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made it clear that the Jewish State no longer intends to wait for permission from the White House to defend itself from Iran, if the need arises.

Panetta allegedly told the two Israeli leaders that President Barack Obama wanted an “unshakable guarantee that Israel would not carry out a unilateral military strike.... without first seeking Washington's clearance,” the Telegraph reported.

“They did not suggest that military action was being planned or was imminent, but neither did they give any assurances that Israel would first seek Washington's permission, or even inform the White House in advance that a mission was underway,” said one of the  sources quoted by the Telegraph.

Last week's report by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran's nuclear development activities made it clear that whatever Israel decides, that decision needs to be made soon: Iran is racing towards its goal of creating a nuclear weapon. That much is now obvious, even to the United Nations.