Here is a scenario that has chances of materializing: while Israel is busy with its elections, and the US is primarily dealing with the risk of the fiscal cliff at the start of 2013, Iran is currently accelerating its nuclear program. The centrifuges are working at top speeds to enrich uranium. This might not necessarily remain the case – no one in the West would be surprised if next spring, just as the US tries consolidating a coalition to intensify the economic sanctions imposed on Iran (again), Iran would unilaterally announce that it is halting the enrichment process. If this happens, it would not constitute a surrender on Iran’s part, but rather progression according to a pre-prepared plan.
By the spring of 2013, Iran will already possess more than 200 kilograms of enriched uranium, which could be suitable for use in a nuclear bomb (a base of 20% enrichment), a fine quantity. Iran will be able to complete the rest of the planned enrichment process at its own rate, in secret, far from the eyes of the UN inspectors. At the same time, it will be able to conclude the development of the detonator for the nuclear bomb, as well as the adaptation of the future bomb to a launch measure. This includes the conclusion of the Iranian program for developing cruise missiles, based on former Soviet missile technology acquired in the past decade in Ukraine. From this point onwards, Iran will also be able to choose the time at which it will announce the nuclear weapon in its possession.