msnbc | March 11, 2012
>>> how close are we to conflicts in the middle east on the iran war clock? are there is a new article in the atlantic monthly this week that introduce ad new measure of war and peace which is now at 11 dl 11:50 . opinions of ex-berts the chance of war breaking out over iran's nuclear program . joining me now is man behind the iran war clock, dominick tyranny. senior fellow at the foreign policy reresearch institute. i'm glad you are here.
>> you spoke with a number of people, correct, to put this clock together? what did you gather and how did you get ten minutes to midnight ?
>> sure. so -- with american troops having finally left iraq and u.s. troops on the way out afghanistan, americans will be -- beginning to think the tide of war is finally receding in the middle east . the war with iran is getting closer. and to find out just how close we assembled high-profile panel of experts and kind of dream team of academics and journalists, policymakers, people that really know what's going on. and -- their estimates of the war between u.s. and israel and iran in the next year was 48%. so basically a coin toss. and then based on that number we adjusted the iran war clocks so it now is set to 11:50 .
>> you have 48% saying this may happen within the next year but i'm going to flip it and say 52% there are -- saying we are still at peace important the next year. and at what point and how much would it take to knock that up to 49% 50% or beyond?
>> well, we have a very fast-moving and dangerous situation. i mean, just take israel for example. israel is deadly serious about stopping iran's nuclear program .
>> and they see a narrowing window of opportunity where they can strike iran before iran is able to put its capabilities essentially beyond israel 's capacity to destroy and so it is very easy to see how an incident could happen that could escalate and let cooler heads prevail.
>> talking about cooler heads prevailing. there is the possibility of talks in the near future . many parties are saying let's do this, let's get this done. do you expect that to happen to the success of bringing down this war clock?
>> well, i mean, that's what we would like to see. but most of the experts are fairly pessimistic about the latest round of talks. israel is, as i said, deadly serious about stopping iran . iran is intrance gentleman at the moment. meanwhile, you have president barack obama who is trying to find a way to use sanctions and diplomacy to stop iran's nuclear program without using force. and he has an upcoming presidential election. of course, that's actually going to make his job more difficult. for one thing, you have less time to focus on the iranian question and he's also being constantly attacked from the right for supposed weakness on iran and that may limit the president's room for maneuver.
>> is there something that springs to mind, dominick, you think could move the needle either way and incident -- an incident, a talk, a discussion, provocation?
>> well, we always hope for a breakthrough. and -- there's a great deal of -- you always hope that the iranian leadership will see that the future of security is not required a nuclear bomb . to be honest with you, i think the most likely scenario in the next year is just that the crisis rumbles on. or that we go down a path to war.
>> okay. we will leave it there. a very sobering discussion. thank you so much.
>> thank you so much.