"Iran has been showing signs of increasing nervousness about the possibility that its nuclear program will come under attack by Israel or the United States," the editorial opined. "From the West’s point of view, this alarm is good: The more Iran worries about a military attack, the more likely it is to scale back its nuclear activity."
The Post took issue with two of these assumptions. It hinted that Arab states would be pleased with a strike on Iran and unlikely to rally around it, and asked: "if bombing destroyed thousands of Iranian centrifuges, which are manufactured from materials Tehran cannot easily acquire, would it really be so simple to rebuild?"
It also accused Obama of sending a "waffling signal to Tehran" by resisting pressure from allies such as France and from Congress to sanction the Iranian central bank. The administration’s stance in this matter is like Panetta’s message, the op-ed said. "In effect, it is signaling that it is determined to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon — unless it means taking military or diplomatic risks, or paying an economic price."