Israel, Iran Saber-Rattling Has World on Alert

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Fears are growing that Israel will strike Iran as tensions with the hardline Islamic regime continue to escalate.

In fact, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said there's a "strong likelihood" Israel will attack Iran in April, May, or June to cripple the Islamic Republic's nuclear arms program, according to the Washington Post.

Many global leaders fear such a move could set off a wider war, terrorism, and global economic havoc.

President Barack Obama is cautioning against an attack on Iran, saying he wants diplomacy to end the stand-off over Tehran's nuclear program.

When asked Sunday if Israel would give the U.S. advanced warning of an attack, the president told NBC News he believes the Jewish state remains undecided.

"I won't go into the details of our conversations," he said. "I will say that we have closer military and intelligence consultation between our two countries than we ever have."

Meanwhile, the rhetoric about Iran is increasing significantly in Israel. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said if sanctions don't work, then Iran must face a military strike.

Israel's head of military intelligence said Iran now has enough enriched uranium to make four nuclear bombs, and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Iran is now developing missiles capable of hitting the United States.

Obama told NBC News the U.S. is not taking any options off the table, but he said he does not believe Iran would retaliate to an Israeli attack by striking U.S. soil.

"We don't see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now," the president said. "And again, our goal is to resolve this issue diplomatically. That would be preferable."

Still, he warned that more military action in the Gulf could have a significant effect on the United States, including an increase in oil prices.

As the rumors grow, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains defiant.

"The other impact (of regional uprisings) that is very important is the weakness of the Zionist regime because the Zionist regime is truly a cancerous tumor in this region that should be cut and will be cut," Khamenei said.

The ayatollah said Iran will continue its nuclear program and warned sanctions and a military strike would only make the Islamic Republic stronger.

Meanwhile, state TV reported Iran successfully launched a domestically built satellite into orbit Friday by rocket, allegedly to monitor the weather.

Iran's space program has raised concerns because the same technology that allows missiles to launch satellites can be used to fire warheads.

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CBN News
Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Mitchell brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world.