As sanctions on Iran begin to heat up, so do Iran’s nuclear efforts. And on the other side, Israel’s efforts to convince the United States of the necessity of a credible military option against Iran have reached a fever pitch.

A recent Time magazine article seems to be indicative of this strategic shift in an article in the latest issue called “An Attack on Iran: Back on the Table.” The article tells of improved US military efforts in planning air strikes on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Much of these facilities are buried deep in the ground, making hitting them difficult to impossible. The American Air Force is now said to be closer to bringing a successful strike within the realm of possibility.

Human intelligence efforts are deemed responsible for the progress made, meaning that Iran is teeming with Western spies. And as reported by Time, Israel has apparently been brought into the planning process. Whether this means that the Jewish State took a large part in advancing the human intelligence operations within the Islamic republic and is therefore being rewarded remains unclear.

It is Israel’s position that tough sanctions without a credible military option to back them will leave sanctions emasculated and unable to persuade the Ayatollahs to forego their nuclear ambitions, while sanctions with the threat of military action have that capability.

“Without [a military option], the sanctions will likely not work,” a senior defense official said. The Israeli defense establishment cites Iran’s cessation of its nuclear activities in 2003 concurrent with the US invasion of Iraq, though since then, lacking a military threat from the Americans, Iran has continued on its nuclear course.

Attack by September?

While this is going on behind closed doors, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to face coalition threats in the limelight at home, with a recent budget crisis with his senior coalition partner Avigdor Lieberman, topped by a conversion bill crisis with both Lieberman and the Haredi party Shas.

With the construction freeze in the Territories ending in September and Labor promising to leave if negotiations with the Palestinians do not make progress by then, the days of Netanyahu’s administration may be numbered, forcing him to make a decision regarding Iran by the start of Fall.