Several days later, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Israel of being the "most cruel and racist regime," sparking a scandal at a UN racism conference in Geneva.
At the same time, Israeli websites reported that Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu had met with the Israeli Defense Minister, the Chief of the General Staff and other defense leaders three times during the past week. He was reportedly informed about preparations for an assault at Iran's military facilities and was "pleasantly surprised" at how far these preparations had advanced.
How true can these reports be, and how high is the probability of Israel bombing out Iran's nuclear program?
Israel has always said that it would not allow Iran to advance to a technology level allowing it to create a nuclear bomb. One can understand its logic. While developing its nuclear technology, Iran keeps reminding Israel that it has no right to exist on the political map of the world.
Israel has always seen a "red line" in Iran's nuclear program beyond which Iran would become a direct threat to Israel. As defined by Israeli and European analysts, this "red line" comprises a certain development level of nuclear technology and a deadline, 2010. Therefore, it can be assumed that the media has reported a planned inspection by the new Israeli premier of the country's readiness to liquidate its biggest enemy.
There are several facts pointing in this direction.
Israel and the United States plan to hold a major ballistic missile defense exercise later this year, called Juniper Cobra. The maneuver will jointly test three different American and Israeli missile defense systems.
The Israel Air Force's Air Defense Division, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) have held the Juniper Cobra exercise for the past five years. The upcoming exercise is planned to be the most complex and extensive yet.
This may also mean that Israel and the U.S. are preparing for 2010, even if only in terms of defense.
Can a military scenario be avoided?
Israel has been living on the assumption that it must not be defeated. The smallest step backward is seen there as tantamount to the demise of the Israeli state.
Meanwhile, Iran has openly declared its ambition to become the regional power. It can attain its goal if it proves that Israel is ineffective as a state.
Why not try to push the enemy towards defeat, especially a military defeat, by forcing him to start a military operation with unpredictable consequences?
The current Tehran leaders have been saying and doing things that are actually forcing Israel to order its aircraft to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. Tehran has announced several nuclear and missile achievements, thereby encouraging the international community to question the "peaceful nature" of its nuclear program.
As a result, the general concern is gradually giving way to the belief that Iran will eventually create a nuclear bomb, or that it is rapidly moving towards this goal. Ahmadinejad said in one of his recent speeches that Iran's nuclear ambition was fuelled by the immorality of the states that have the nuclear technology.
Indeed, this does not describe Iran's nuclear program as peaceful.
There is a definite loser in the Iranian-Israeli confrontation. It is Russia. If a war breaks out now, everyone will blame Russia.
The EU and the United States will blame Russia for failure to convince Tehran to stop its uranium enrichment program, Israel will blame Russia for selling weapons to Iran, and Iran will blame it for failure to deliver the S-300 defense systems.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.