Iran: Fears and Options

Iran: Fears and Options

I am very fearful of a possible Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear installations, but (speaking only for myself) I hope that Israel and the US will continue to act in small but effective ways to forestall its nuclear program,  including cyber-warfare and other secretive efforts at sabotage (not to mention strong economic sanctions).  These are far preferable to an all-out air assault, which would only mobilize popular Iranian support for the regime, rallying around the flag, rather than forcing Iran to come to its senses regarding its threats and provocations against Israel’s existence; an overt attack would also likely precipitate a broader war against Israel and the United States.

An analytical article by Stewart Ain of the NY Jewish Week reports, Israel Shifting Tone On Iran: After threats of an attack, a change as the rhetoric softens this week.”  Among other things, this article notes the impact of economic sanctions so far on Iran, for example hindering the use of credit cards and quadrupling the price of gasoline. And a new effort at major economic sanctions by Western powers is described in today’s NY Times asa concerted response to the finding this month by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran may be continuing to work on a nuclear weapon and delivery system.” 

Hillel Schenker’s idea of a nuclear-free Middle East is worthy of consideration, but only likely after a peaceful resolution is arrived at for Israel and the Palestinians, when Israel feels comfortable enough to conceivably forego its nuclear defense option (Hillel writes that this is actually Israel’s official position).  I don’t see Israel conceding its nuclear arsenal while the threat from a hostile Iran remains.
All in all, I don’t doubt that most Israelis feel their existence at risk, with Iran’s nuclear sword hanging over their collective head.  Although the following letter to the NY Times, dated Nov. 14,

does not speak for me, it well articulates the kind of fear that Iran’s nuclear program, and its obstinate thumbing its nose at the world on this issue, have generated:

Despite being slowed by sanctions and a computer virus, Iran’s nuclear progress is steady. …
Only a credible military threat could force Iran to seriously consider terminating its nuclear program. ..
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has advocated for the destruction of Israel, denied the Holocaust, and supplied Hezbollah and Hamas with arms. Though all of the world should be concerned with the most powerful terrorist state gaining nuclear capabilities, Israelis would be the first victims. An important lesson that the civilized world taught us over 60 years ago is that the Jewish people cannot depend on others for protection, and there are plenty of Holocaust museums throughout Europe that testify to this reality. We do not want more museums.
Brian Fuchs, New York

By | 2011-11-22T15:06:00-05:00 November 22nd, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

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