Former US Ambassador to Israel
Martin Indyk predicts that the United States will go to war with Iran
as early as 2013. "I'm afraid that 2013 is going to be a year in which we're going to have a military confrontation with Iran," he said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."
During the interview, Indyk pointed out that the time has not come, yet, for the US to take military action.
"Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon. While there's still time, there's not a lot of time," he said.
Indyk's remarks came during a discussion with foreign policy experts on the latest protests
in the Middle East and Israel's public statements
pressuring the United States over Iran.
As for the public dispute between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and President Barack Obama over Iran, Indyk said he does not think that "the difference between Netanyahu and Obama on this is that great, in terms of the President's commitment not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons."
On Israel's insistence that Washington publicly declare a "red line'" that Iran will not be permitted to cross, Indyk said "that is an unreasonable requirement.The idea of putting out a public red line – in effect issuing an ultimatum – is something that no president would do," he said
"If you noticed, Governor Mitt Romney is not putting out a red line; Senator McCain didn't, either. And neither is Netanyahu for that matter, in terms of Israel's own actions," he added.
Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, echoed Indyk's assessment that negotiations with Iran have not dissuaded the Iranians to halt their nuclear program.
He said Netanyahu has sought to increase pressure publicly because "he doesn't want these things to be drawn out indefinitely."
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she believes that a political solution in the standoff over Iran's nuclear program is still possible, but she added that Tehran poses a threat not just to Israel but to the whole world.
"I support a political solution ... and I believe that we are not at the point where the search for political solutions has been exhausted," she told a news conference in Berlin.
The European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton
will meet Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Istanbul on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Ashton said on Monday.