Writing in the Washington Post, Yossi Melman, a military expert and commentator for the Israeli daily Haaretz, says that Israel won’t attack Iran unless it has explicit American backing:

“If the U.S. doesn’t approve an Israeli military operation, Israel will not attack Iran. Full stop.”

He also says (and it makes sense to me) that Israel isn’t planning an attack anytime soon:

“The recent leaks to the U.S. news media (New York Times and ABC News) have created a wrong impression and sent a false message that an Israeli attack on Iran is imminent. Far from the truth. No decision to attack Iran has been made in Israel. Certainly no date has been fixed. Israel will decide, if at all, to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program only as a last resort after international diplomacy fails. More importantly, such a decision will be taken only after serious consultation with the American administration.”

There’s a lot of alarmism about the United States, Israel and Iran floating around. I think it’s time to calm down about this. Pay attention, people: barring some unforeseen, and highly unlikely, provocation by Iran, there isn’t going to be any war with Iran. Listen to Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when he was asked yesterday about attacking Iran. Bogged down in Iraq and stretched to the breaking point in Afghanistan, the military doesn’t want another war. Said Mullen:

“Opening up a third front would be extremely stressful on us … This is a very unstable part of the world, and I don’t need it to be more unstable.”