Thursday, 15 July 2010

Israel should not even think about attacking Iran

Here is an interesting news from Reuters about Israel's purported plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities and its dire consequences:

Think tank: Israel attack against Iran would spark long war

Oxford Research Group says furthermore that attack on nuclear facilities wouldn't prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear bomb.

By Reuters

An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would start a long war and probably not prevent Iran from eventually acquiring nuclear weapons, a think-tank said on Thursday.

The Oxford Research Group, which promotes non-violent solutions to conflict, said military action should be ruled out as a response to Iran's possible nuclear weapons ambitions.

"An Israeli attack on Iran would be the start of a protracted conflict that would be unlikely to prevent the eventual acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran and might even encourage it," it said in a report.

It would also lead to instability and unpredictable security consequences for the region and the wider world, it added.

The United Nations Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran last month over its contested nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing atomic weapons in secret.

Iran says it wants nuclear energy for peaceful uses only.

The report, by Paul Rogers, professor of peace studies at the University of Bradford, said U.S. military action against Iran appeared unlikely but Israel's capabilities had increased.

"Long-range strike aircraft acquired from the United States, combined with an improved fleet of tanker aircraft, the deployment of long-range drones and the probable availability of support facilities in northeast Iraq and Azerbaijan, all increase Israel's potential for action against Iran," the report said.

Israeli leaders usually speak only of leaving all options on the table, although Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon specifically said in May that Israel had the capability to hit Iran.

Israel is widely believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, but refuses to confirm or deny this.

The Oxford report estimated it might take three to seven years for Iran to develop a small arsenal of nuclear weapons if it decided to do so. It said there was no firm evidence such a decision had been taken by the Islamic Republic.

Any Israeli strike would be focused not only on destroying nuclear and missile targets but would also hit factories and research centers and even university laboratories to damage Iranian expertise, the report said.

This would cause many civilian casualties, the report added.

Military action would include the direct bombing of targets in Tehran and probably include attempts to kill technocrats who managed Iran's nuclear and missile programs, the report said.

Iran's responses to an Israeli attack could include withdrawing from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and immediate action to produce nuclear weapons to deter further attacks, the report explained.

They could also include missile attacks on Israel, closing the Strait of Hormuz to push up oil prices and paramilitary or missile attacks on Western oil facilities in the Gulf.

After a first strike, Israel might have to carry out regular air strikes to stop Iran developing atom bombs and medium-range missiles, the report said. "Iranian responses would also be long-term, ushering in a lengthy war with global as well as regional implications," Rogers said.

Other options open to the West were to redouble efforts to get a diplomatic settlement or accept that Iran may eventually acquire a nuclear capability and use that as the start of a process of balanced regional de-nuclearization, the report concluded.

Think about it imagine a real Israeli strike on Iran which would not necessarily be 100% successful would have dire consequences on the world economy, besides a retaliatory attack on Iran using long range missiles, Iran could scuttle ships in the Hormuz Straits and block middle east oil from coming out. The price of Petroleum will sky rocket and and everything else will go up as well triggering economic crisis, lost jobs and consequently social upheaval on a scale no one could imagine. A Hungry Man is an Angry Man.

The Strait of Hormuz at its narrowest is 54 kilometres (29 nmi) wide.It is the only sea passage to the open ocean for large areas of the petroleum-exporting Persian Gulf. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an average of about 15 tankers carrying 16.5 to 17 million barrels of crude oil normally pass through the strait every day, making it one of the world's most strategically important choke points. This represents 40% of the world's seaborne oil shipments, and 20% of all world shipments.

I do not think that America and Europe will allow Israel to do as it pleases. I think Israel's posturing is more about getting whatever concessions it can from the West to protect its inhumane siege of Gaza,Brutal Occupation of the West Bank and Settlement building in East Jerusalem so that the Palestinians can never have a state capital in Al-Quds etc.

The American Government would do well to heed the advise of their Gen Petraeus architect of the iraq war turnaround and now US Afghanistan Commander:

The [Israel-Palestine] conflict forments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favouritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of US partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR [Centcom's Area of Responsibility] and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilise support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.

There is no other options open to America and the West but to triple its efforts to get a diplomatic settlement AND accept that Iran will eventually acquire a nuclear capability for peaceful and other purposes to defend itself and as the Think Tank says, use that as the start of a process of balanced regional de-nuclearization which include Israel who until this day does not deny nor confirm it has nuclear weapons.

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