Israel Preparing Spring Attack, Iran Doubles Defense Spending While Khamemei Threatens Retaliation

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Context

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has said that Western allies are cautioning Israel against attack on Iran. Panetta strongly believes that Israel has already made the decision to strike Iran this spring. He said the US is leading the persuasion initiative, though it believes outside argument will not have any effect on Israeli decision-making. US is presenting the argument that Iranian regime will be considerably weakened after imploding its ally, Syria, but the attack on Iran will have the opposite impact.

Israel fears Iran will soon reach the zone of immunity, where limited military strike will not deter it from launching its nuclear bomb. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday that if sanctions do not prevent Iran from making nuclear bomb, then there is worldwide understanding to launch a military strike.

Meanwhile, President Ahmedinejad predicted on Wednesday that Iran’s economy would grow eight percent over the next 12 months despite Western sanctions. He added that the budget was developed taking into account the price of oil and increased the defense spending by 127 percent under the new budget.

On the other hand, after leading the Friday prayers, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned that Iran will retaliate to the western oil embargo or military attack. He said that war with Iran will be detrimental to America, whereas it will not dampen Iran’s determination to continue the nuclear course. Khamenei added that he has no fear to state that Iran will back any nation or group that wants to confront or fight Zionist regime.