CHICAGO (CBS) — As war drums continue pounding between Israel and Iran, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is saying he is hoping sanctions will do the trick.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, asked directly if he thinks Israel will bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, Durbin did not answer directly.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

“I think this is a dangerous situation. There is no question that Iran with a nuclear weapon is a danger to the Middle East and beyond, and Europe and beyond,” he said.

Durbin says sanctions are appropriate at this time.

“But I hope that there’s no one who believes that a military confrontation is an easy way out. That would complicate the entire situation in the Middle East and risk a lot of life,” he said.

Durbin says the strident comments coming now out of Iran show that country is feeling the pinch of the international sanctions on trade.

Earlier this week, University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer said the threats against Iran by Israel are just posturing. He said Israel does not have the refueling capacity for support an attack on Iranian nuclear sites.

“Secondly, it appears that the Israelis do not have the bombs that are necessary to penetrate deep enough into the ground to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability,” Mearsheimer said.

Mearsheimer said a careful reading of Iranian statements shows leaders are not, in fact, threatening a nuclear attack on Israel at all. Instead, he said, they are predicting that the Israeli government would disappear as did the earlier governments of the Soviet Union and Iran.

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