Red Lines

RED LINES….Laura Rozen writes that tensions may be growing between Israel and the United States over how advanced Iran’s nuclear program is:

US sources who did not wish to be identified describe a disagreement between the US and Israeli intelligence communities over the timetable of Iran’s alleged weaponization and research and development efforts. Nuclear analysts at Livermore nuclear facility crunched the numbers and looked at the information on Iran’s centrifuges and concluded that they are sticking to the public estimates in the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program, that forecast Iran could have enough enriched material for nuclear weapons capability in the mid next decade. The Israelis allegedly presented the US with Iranian weaponization evidence that they consider very credible, that the US intelligence community allegedly did not consider credible. Analysts also say Israel and the US are drawing different definitions and red lines about what they consider would be Iran’s nuclear “breakout” capability.

Apparently there’s been a noticeable uptick in the number of high-level Israeli visits to the U.S. recently, possibly with the goal of persuading a reluctant Bush administration to approve a military strike. David Wurmser, a former aide to Dick Cheney, believes the odds of Israel striking Iran before Bush leaves office are “slightly, slightly above fifty/fifty.” Read the rest here.