Israel Likely Won't Attack Iran This Year

The first meeting between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, as leaders of the United States and Israel, has resulted in one unspoken headline: There is hardly any chance that Israel will bomb Iran this year.

Netanyahu publicly thanked President Obama for keeping all "options on the table," the current euphemism for a possible military strike aimed at Iranian nuclear facilities. Mr. Obama, however, for the first time specified that he wants to talk to the Islamic Republic of Iran until the end of this year -- and then assess whether there has been any progress.

Israel's new government leaders have clearly stated they will not get in Mr. Obama's way in his desire to engage with Iran. The Israelis strongly doubt that such efforts will work -- and certainly clandestine activities by the Mossad will continue, as will planning by Israel's air force -- but it is an extremely important part of Israel's foreign and defense policies not to anger the President of the United States. So long as Mr. Obama is talking with Tehran (assuming that Iran agrees to start talks after that country's national election on June 12), he will not give the green light to an Israeli attack.

Dan Raviv is host of radio's CBS News Weekend Roundup and author of Friends In Deed: Inside the U.S.-Israel Alliance and other books.

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    Dan Raviv is a correspondent for CBS Radio News based in Washington, host of CBS News Weekend Roundup, and co-author of "Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel's Secret Wars"