4 readers online now  |  69 million page views

What's Next?

Reader comment on item: Why the (toothless) Iran sanctions bill matters

Submitted by Alex (United States), Feb 12, 2015 at 18:40

One point to add is that even if the bill passes and sanctions are applied consistently without any 30 day waivers, Iran's nuclear program will likely still progress, if at a much slower pace. In any case, the obvious question when one reads the conclusion of Dr. Pipes' article is: what happens--and what should happen--in the event that the Kirk-Menendez bill passes with a veto-proof majority and Tehran walks away from the negotiations? I am not a professional defense analyst, but I have studied the Middle East for years, and here is my prediction of what could happen:

1) After negotiations collapse, Iran, fearing a pre-emotive strike on its nuclear facilities by the U.S. or more likely, Israel, uses its proxies in the Qods Forces, Hezbollah and other terrorist movements and guerrilla groups to a) distract attention from its nuclear program, b) increase divisions between the US and Israel by inviting an Israeli response against Lebanon and the Syrian Golan Heights, c) increase popular pressure on the Gulf Arab rulers, in turn leading them to ask Washington to lean on Israel further and to increase oil prices

2) Then, either: a) Iran offers to rejoin negotiations on the condition of increased American pressure on Jerusalem and an acceptance of Iranian expansion into the Golan and perhaps other territories like Yemen's Bab el-Mandeb or even Bahrain And/or b) Israel bombs the Iranian nuclear facilities, leading Iran to:

3) Use the less catastrophic of its contingency plans for asymmetric warfare--but not including its weapons of mass destruction--including: a) a small salvo of ballistic missiles from both Iran and Lebanon with conventional payloads at critical targets (energy infrastructure and US military facilities) in Israel and the Gulf Arab states, driving up the price of oil and increasing pressure on Israel from the U.S. and sparking unprecedented tensions between the U.S. and the GCC countries, and; b) Attempts at terrorist attacks against the same targets, as well as against Israeli targets around the world, perhaps most especially in Latin America c) hacking into industrial facilities to cause power outages and other resource deficiencies in Western countries

4) Iran announces openly that it is seeking nuclear weapons, perhaps even testing one or semi-publicly buying one from North Korea 5) At some point not long afterwards, a genuinely existential conflict between Iran and Israel and the U.S. develops, resulting from either: a) an Israeli attempt at regime change in Tehran, or: b) Iran attempting asymmetric warfare short of the use of WMDs, including terrorism against infrastructure (power or water treatment plants) and public transportation (rather than civilian gatherings) inside the U.S. and perhaps other countries throughout the world, suicide boat or drone attacks against US naval ships This will prove a fatal miscalculation, leading to: 6) A catastrophic war between the U.S./Israel against Iran (and perhaps a war pitting GCC states and Egypt against either Israel or Iran, depending on popular pressure), in which: a) Israel and/or the U.S. will use nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's major cities and infrastructure, doing the same in Syria and perhaps Lebanon b) Severe, possibly existential challenges facing the GCC countries and Egypt and Jordan, owing to a variety of factors (internal unrest and violence, Iranian OR Israeli attack) c) Iran will make full use of its asymmetric contingency plans, including the use of terrorism inside the U.S. and the use of WMDs in both terrorist attacks and ballistic missile attacks against Israel and US bases

Thoughts anyone ... ?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to What's Next? by Alex

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)