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An Israeli attack is doubtful

Reader comment on item: Panetta Predicts an Israeli Strike on Iran

Submitted by Ken Besig (Israel), Feb 4, 2012 at 17:51

No one but the powers that be in Israel can say for certain whether Israel will attack the Iranian nuclear program, and certainly not me. I will say that I believe that an Israeli attack is doubtful for a number of reasons, the main one being that it would be almost impossible to carry out. Iran is quite far from Israel, and surrounded by Arab Islamic states hostile to Israel that Israeli aircraft would have to overfly. This in itself would be difficult, and the Iranians are already on alert for any Israeli air activity that might threaten them and are well prepared to defend themselves.

Another reason is that an Israeli strike would almost certainly be ineffective in stopping or even slowing down the Iranian nuclear program as the Iranian sites are far apart, well protected, and many are even unknown as to location. Certainly many of those sites also duplicate other sites, as a form of insurance. Perhaps the most compelling reason keeping Israel from attacking Iran is that Iran would almost certainly disrupt the Persian Gulf oil exports, by blocking the Straits of Hormuz, or retaliating against the Persian Gulf Arab regimes which had allowed the Israeli attack in the first place. This of course would result in a global economic depression, in a world already staggering under the weight of a global recession.

Also, Iranian proxies, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the Hizballa terror organization in Lebanon, would be sure to carry out massive and hugely destructive rocket and missile attacks on Israel proper in solidarity with Iran or just as a result of Iranian orders to do so. And other Islamic terror groups throughout the world would also try to wreak havoc on the West. The only superpower capable of destroying the Iranian nuclear threat is the United States and after 10 years of costly and destructive war in Iraq and Afghanistan, no American President, especially the present one, is going to go to war any time soon anywhere, but especially not in the Middle East. Thus the military option is no longer viable, and best thing to do would be to try to develop strategies of containment of the Iranian nuclear program from a different point of view.

The only rational means of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat is for the West to make it crystal and unmistakably clear to the Iranian leadership that if they ever use a nuclear weapon for any purpose their total destruction is absolutely assured. Certainly economic embargoes and even sea blockades of essential goods might help, but given the fact that Iranian oil supplies to India, China, and other countries will be permitted, and the fact that Russia and China will never allow truly crippling sanctions, Iran will develop an nuclear weapon and the ballistic missile to deliver it. This is the reality that must be addressed and only the threat of nuclear annihilation will impress the Iranian Islamic radicals to never ever use their nuclear weapons.

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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".

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