A history of military threats against Iran
Israel has repeatedly tried to provoke the US into attacking Iran. In an interview with the Times of London on November 5, 2002, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon tried to persuade the US to attack Iran. Calling Iran a "centre of world terror" that is pursuing nuclear weapons, Sharon insisted that the US put pressure on Tehran, the "day after action against Baghdad ends".
In April 2003, Daniel Ayalon, then Israeli ambassador to the US, called for regime change in Iran and Syria, claiming in a conference that "it [the US] has to follow through." In the same year, other Israeli officials spoke repeatedly about the possibility of Israeli unilateral attacks on Iran's nuclear sites. Then Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz warned that "under no circumstances would Israel be able to tolerate nuclear weapons in Iranian possession."
In January 2005, Seymour Hersh reported, "The Defence Department civilians, under the leadership of [Under-secretary of Defence for Policy] Douglas Feith, have been working with Israeli planners and consultants to develop and refine potential nuclear, chemical-weapons, and missile targets inside Iran."
In April 2005, Sharon said, "Israel - and not only Israel - cannot accept a nuclear Iran. We have the ability to deal with this and we’re making all the necessary preparations to be ready for such a situation."Sharon had reportedly ordered the IDF to develop plans for attacking Iran by March 2006. In the same month, when the IDF chief Dan Halutz was asked, how far Israel was willing to go to stop Iran's nuclear program, he responded, "two thousand kilometres," meaning Tehran. In response to Ahmadinejad's infamous and incorrectly translated statement that "Israel must be wiped off the map," Peres said, "Iran can also be wiped off the map."
After a meeting in July 2009 with then US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, Ehud Barak, Israel's Defence Minister, said that attacking Iran's nuclear facilities is an option, adding, "We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table. This is our policy; we mean it. We recommend to others to take the same position …."
Barak and Netanyahu were determined to attack Iran in 2010, but were thwarted by the military and intelligence establishments within Israel. In November 2012, Netanyahu again threatened Iran with military attacks, even if the US does not go along.
On June 19 Moshe Ya’alon, Netanyahu’s new Defense Minister called for "significant increase in pressure by Western countries to lead Iran to the dilemma of either having a bomb or surviving."
In the latest of such provocations, in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria on August 9, Barak emphasised again that attacking Iran is a serious option for Israel. ...