Amerikanerne testet nylig en bunker-buster bombe i New Mexico på 15 tonn, kalt Big Blu. Samtidig ber Bush om 88 millioner ekstra dollar til å utruste B2-flyene med slike bomber. -De kunne like gjerne ha Teheran skrevet på seg, sier en kilde.
Hvor sannsynlig er det at USA vil bombe Iran?
The question of timing is becoming ever more urgent, now that Bush has fewer than 15 months left in the White House. Confidants say he is determined not to bequeath the problem of a nuclear Iran to his successor and regards it as an important part of his legacy.
Although intelligence estimates vary as to when Iran will achieve the know-how for a bomb, the French government recently received a memo from the International Atomic Energy Agency stating that Iran will be ready to run almost 3,000 cen-trifuges in 18 cascades by the end of this month, in defiance of a UN ban on uranium enrichment. It is enough, say scientists, to produce one bomb within a year. If that is the case, the hour for action may soon be upon us.
Against this backdrop, the US public is growing acclimatised to the threat of war. As the saying in Washington goes, «Iran is the new Iraq». While controversy over the Iraq war is fading in intensity – even for the 2008 presidential candidates – the problem of a nuclear Iran is rapidly moving up the political agenda.
David Miliband, the foreign secretary, was in Washington last week for talks with Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state. Shortly before heading back to Britain, he declared that, for the first time, Iraq was not «the top item» for discussion, a sign of the growing stability and success of the American troop surge.
En teori går ut på at Bush-administrasjonen vil benytte Midtøsten-konferansen i slutten av november til å banke gjennom en palestinsk stat: Det vil få saudi-araberne og andre sunni-regimer til å svelge en bombing av Iran. Israel må finne seg i en palestinsk stat mot at Damoklessverdet blir fjernet.