Sen. Levin sees Israeli attack to halt Iranian nuclear program as ‘very likely’

Carl Levin speaks at the AIPAC in Washington

thehill.com

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said Tuesday that he believes an Israeli attack on Iran is “very likely.”

Levin said the attack by Israel could occur because Iran has not stopped enriching uranium or opened facilities to international nuclear inspectors.

“I think it’s likely because Iran is not responding to the international call for it to abide by the U.N. resolutions,” Levin told reporters Tuesday. “Iran is violating six different U.N. resolutions. I think that being the case, if they continue to do it, don’t open up their uranium facilities to inspection, and don’t stop the enrichment of uranium, that I would say an attack on them by Israel is very likely.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with Levin and other senators Tuesday, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference Monday evening that diplomacy and sanctions are not stopping Iran, warning that Israel “cannot afford to wait much longer.”

President Obama has urged the Israelis to give sanctions time to take effect in order to convince Iran to abandon a pursuit of nuclear weapons capability.

The United States and five other world powers agreed to restart nuclear talks with Iran on Tuesday. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Tuesday that until Iran is compliant with United Nations Security Council resolutions, including the suspension of its enrichment program, the international community will continue to implement sanctions against Iran.

“To resolve this issue will require Iran to come to the table and discuss in a clear and forthright way how to prove to the international community that the intentions of their nuclear program are peaceful,” Obama said at his press conference Tuesday.

In his speech to AIPAC Tuesday, Levin said that Obama will use all options at his disposal to prevent a nuclear Iran.

“When he says that all options are on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran, he means it,” Levin said. “I believe him. The world will believe him. I hope the Iranians are rational enough to believe him, because Iran ignores the president of the United States and his words at their peril.”

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