War Coming to Mideast? Insights from Condoleezza Rice

If there’s one catalyst in the energy market keeping the price of oil high, it’s the threat of conflict in the Middle East.

And the rhetoric seems to intensify with each passing day.

In the latest verbal assault, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of making "accelerated progress towards achieving nuclear weapons", adding that it was "totally ignoring" Western demands to rein in its atomic program.

Also, an influential Israeli rabbi called his followers to pray for Iran's destruction. In a sermon Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said "(When) we ask God to 'bring an end to our enemies', we should be thinking about Iran, those evil ones who threaten Israel. May the Lord destroy them."

The comments came after Iran called for Israel's destruction describing the nation and US ally, as an "insult to all humanity."

After working closely with Israel for 8 years, first as National Security Advisor and later as Secretary of State under President Bush, Condoleezza Rice is widely considered one of the world's leading authorities on Mideast issues.

And in an exclusive interview on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report, Rice said that the situation may be approaching an inflection point.

“I think when the Israelis believe that the Iranians have gone past or about to go past a certain point… Israel will do what it needs to do to secure itself. Any democracy would.”

And Rice added that America can't just talk the talk, we must also walk the walk.

“The fact is, no one can afford a nuclear Iran. And so when President Obama says, 'I have a military option and I will use it,' I hope that he's saying it with enough conviction that the Iranians believe it, because that's the only way they're ever going to back down.”

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"The Kudlow Report" airs weeknights at 7 p.m. ET.

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