Bergman concludes by ominously declaring that “these coming months are indeed the last opportunity to attack before Iran enters the ‘immunity zone’”, meaning the point in time when Iran’s  program had developed so far that “an attack could not derail the nuclear project”, and stating that there is a “broad international agreement on Iran’s intentions”. Bergman doesn’t explicitly state what those intentions are, but at this point the only conclusion one could reasonably draw would be that he means an intention to build a nuclear bomb, and possibly to use it on Israel. He closes by writing “I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012”, with any such decision being rooted in the desire of Israelis “to survive” and to “defend themselves.”

Through his omissions and distortions, Bergman leaves his readers with the impression that Iran has threatened Israel with destruction, is very near to acquiring a nuclear weapon, and will pose a threat to Israel’s very existence when—not if—it does so. The truth is that Iran has not threatened to attack Israel, but Israel, as Bergman discusses at length, is rather threatening to attack Iran and, indeed, already has been engaging in acts of terrorism inside the Islamic Republic. The truth is that there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, but that if it did decide to acquire a “break out” capability or to actively try to assemble a bomb, it would be a direct response to the military threats from the U.S. and Israel in order to deter any such illegal acts of aggression.

If the U.S. and Israel are truly interested in preventing war in the Middle East, the most simple and obvious course of action would be simply to stop threatening and engaging in violence. But propagandists like Bergman and mainstream corporate media outlets like America’s “newspaper of record” willfully blind themselves to that stark reality.


[1] Ronen Bergman, “Will Israel Attack Iran?” New York Times Magazine, January 25, 2012,

[2] Jeremy R. Hammond, “Turning Back From the Point of No Return,” Foreign Policy Journal, August 26, 2010, paras. 6-9,

[3] “Israeli official doubts Iran would nuke his country,” Associated Press, February 26, 2010,

[4] Gidi Weitz, “Barak to Haaretz: Iran won’t drop nuclear bomb on Israel,” Haaretz, May 5, 2011,

[5] Amos Harel, “Barak: Israel ‘very far off’ from decision on Iran attack,” Haaretz, January 18, 2012,

[6] Ray McGovern, “US/Israel: Iran NOT Building Nukes,” Consortium News, January 24, 2012,

[7] Dan Williams, “Barak reassures Israel over ‘empathy’ for Iran atom bid,” Reuters, November 17, 2011,

[8] Isabel Kershner, “Israeli Strike on Iran Would Be ‘Stupid,’ Ex-Spy Chief Says,” New York Times, May 8, 2011,

[9] Hammond, “Turning Back,” paras. 13-16. “Implications of Israeli Attack on Iraq,” Interagency Intelligence Assessment, July 1, 1981,

[10] Boaz Fyler, “Dagan: Iran strike – only as a last resort,” Ynetnews, June 1, 2011,,7340,L-4077239,00.html.

[11] Report by the Director General, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” November 8, 2011 (GOV/2011/65),

[12] Simon Sturdee, “UN nuclear watchdog to visit Iran: diplomats,” Agence France Presse, January 13, 2012,

[13] Nicole Gaouette and Ladane Nasseri, “Iran Says Work at Fortified Enrichment Site Supervised by IAEA,” Bloomberg, January 10, 2012,

[14] Hammond, “Turning Back”, para. 3.

[15] National Intelligence Estimate, “Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities,” Office of the Director of National Intelligence, November 2007,

[16] Seymour M. Hersh, “Iran and the Bomb,” New Yorker, June 6, 2011,

[17] Kevin Hechtkopf, “Panetta: Iran cannot develop nukes, block strait,” CBS News, January 8, 2012,

[18] Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball, “Iran won’t move toward nuclear weapon in 2012 – ISIS report,” Reuters, January 26, 2012,