Some Israeli military leaders are said to be raising new concerns that Iran is positioning its forces for asymmetric counterattacks, specifically a new aggressive naval strategy of shutting down western oil supplies. Evidence of the new strategy was the recent dispatch of Iranian warships to the Mediterranean for the first time since 1979. The warships could be used to threaten shipping through the Red Sea and followed threats by Iranian officials to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a major portion of the world’s oil passes.

Other Israeli military and national security officials favor continuing the current campaign of covert action against Iran, including the assassination of key Iranian nuclear technicians and the use of aggressive cyber warfare attacks, like Stuxnet, Flame, and other viruses that have infected Iranian industrial control networks, including those engaged in nuclear development.

Intelligence analysts, in recent assessments, said an Israeli attack on Iran likely will trigger a global oil crisis involving Iranian counter-actions designed to disrupt the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf to Asia, Europe and elsewhere. They include closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz and disrupting shipping lanes.

One element of leverage for the administration in dissuading Israel to attack was outlined in the recent meetings with Israeli officials who were told that a U.S.-supported strike against Iran possibly could involve advanced weaponry from the U.S. arsenal, including a new Air Force conventional bomb designed to blast deeply buried and hardened targets.