That's the analysis of an Israeli strike against Iran, Bruce Reidel told Ynet News Thursday. Reidel was formerly special assistant to the U.S. President, senior director for near east affairs at the National Security Council, and a former CIA analyst.
According to Reidel, extensive Brookings institution analysis of an Israeli strike against Iran has shown that "a perfect strike is impossible, and would place Israel in a vulnerable position – and the United States in an even tougher spot."
As Reidel sees it, an Israeli strike would be seen as a "joint American-Israeli attack and they will retaliate not only on Israeli targets but on American targets."
Clearly, any Israeli strike -- with or without U.S. Consent -- would be a matter of grave and immediate national security concern to the U.S. Oil production could come to a screeching halt if Iran attacked shipping through the straits of Hormuz, and Iran could also easily send missiles against nearby Saudi Arabian production facilities.
The resulting crash in energy markets, not to mention the world economy, could be massive.
On top of that, Reidel painted a bleak picture of the U.S. security situation in both major U.S. war zones after Israeli airstrike, stating:
"The Iranians have the capacity to retaliate against America not only in the Middle East and the Persian gulf – but in Afghanistan where we have 90,000 troops and where the Iranians have well-established links to the Taliban."
U.S. Embassy and military personnel around the would likely be targets for Iran's proxies like Hezbollah. The backlash would be severe. But if the question is between weathering that storm, or allowing Iran to get nuclear missiles, it appears Israeli leaders remain open to a strike, if it comes to that.
Iran, for its part, does not appear to be backing down from the prospect of a fight. Earlier today, Iran said it "stands ready for war" and warned against any outside attempt to conduct an attack aimed at its nuclear goals.
With Iran's nuclear clock still ticking, the countdown to the mullahs' day of reckoning with Israel appears to be moving faster each day and could set the Middle East in flames.