Iranian Leader Says War May Happen Within Weeks

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The Israeli news outlet DebkaFile reports that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (pictured), warned the country’s top military chiefs during a recent war council meeting to expect “war within weeks.” According to DebkaFile,

While retaliation had been exhaustively drilled in regular military exercises in the past year, Khamenei ordered the biggest fortification project in Iran's history to save its nuclear program from even the mightiest of America's super-weapons. Rocks are being gathered from afar, piled on key nuclear installations, covered with many tons of poured concrete and finally plated with steel.

The news directly contradicts other reports that an Israeli attack on Iran has been postponed until the spring of 2013.

Haaretz correspondent Amir Oren wrote that Israel delayed its plans to launch an attack due to a war simulation that produced unwelcome results. During that simulation, experts discovered that Iran would be able to retaliate with a single missile strike that had the ability to kill 200 Americans. He explained,

At 8:58 P.M. on Tuesday, Israel's 2012 war against Iran came to a quiet end. The capricious plans for a huge aerial attack were returned to the deep recesses of safes and hearts. The war may not have been canceled but it has certainly been postponed. For a while, at least, we can sound the all clear: It won't happen this year. Until further notice, Israel Air Force Flight 007 will not be taking off.

In April, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel will delay an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities until several weeks or months before Israel's elections in 2013. Seattle-based political blogger Richard Silverstein wrote,

A senior Likud politician told my confidential Israeli source that Bibi Netanyahu has decided to delay an Israeli attack on Iran until some weeks or possibly months before the next scheduled Israeli election. That will happen by October 2013 unless Bibi determines he wants to go to the nation earlier.

At the same time Netanyahu made that announcement, some officials had also indicated that they are waiting to see the outcome of discussions between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group – consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China – before officially embarking on a military strike.

u201CIt could happen this year, but also 2013 is a possibility,u201D said an Israeli senior official. u201CWe will need to wait to see the effect sanctions and diplomacy have on Iran and what the regime decides to do.u201D

But the recent Debka report indicates a strong possibility that war with Iran could be sooner. Khamenei's announcement was made at a July 27 meeting with what he called the u201Clast war council.u201D According to Debka:

Present were Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi, Khamenei's military adviser General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, Armed Forces Chief Major General Seyed Hassan Firuzabadi, Revolutionary Guards Corps commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari and Al Qods Brigades chief General Qassem Soleimani. The commanders of the air force, the navy and ground forces were also there.

Each of the participants was tapped to report on the readiness of his branch or sector for shouldering its contingency mission.

The possibility of war with Iran was heightened prior to Khamenei's announcement, however, as Iran confirmed its plans to close the Strait of Hormuz – through which 33 percent of the world's oil shipments pass every day – earlier this month.

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