The drumbeat for war with Iran

Tony Karon in Time:

Aircraftcarrier-500x357If the proverbial “drumbeat” for war with Iran has grown more insistent in recent weeks, it's about to turn into something akin to the opening bars of Black Sabbath's “Iron Man”. That's because the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected, in a report on Iran's nuclear program due for release early this week, to suggest that the Islamic Republic's nuclear program may include a “possible military dimension”, giving Tehran the means — possibly with the help of foreign scientists — to relatively quickly build nuclear weapons should it choose to do so.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog is expected to publish some evidence — long ago shared among key international players — suggesting that Iran may have in recent years conducted theoretical work on warhead design, and experiments on high-explosive triggering systems that don't appear to have any purpose outside of nuclear weapons development.

The buildup to the IAEA report has seen a dramatic uptick in media chatter, and spectacles staged for the media, suggesting that an Israeli attack on Iran is imminent. Over the weekend, Defense Minister Ehud Barak refused to rule out a military strike on Iran, while President Shimon Peres warned that “the possibility of a military attack against Iran is now closer to being applied than the application of a diplomatic option.”

More here.