War threats by the Zionist regime of Israel against Iran have been escalating these days. Before starting discussion of this issue, there is another matter which needs attention. Is the policy that Israel pursuing with regard to Iran based on accurate strategic calculations and awareness of the consequences of war, or the threats are a reaction and are used by Netanyahu’s government as a means of achieving certain goals? In the latter case, what are the main goals of such threats? Is Iran’s nuclear capability the main concern of Israel and the cause of its effort to make strategic changes in the region, or do Israelis only want to use this situation in order to influence the forthcoming presidential elections in the United States? These issues can be analyzed by political analysts from various viewpoints.
It seems that there are various dimensions to Israeli regime’s war threats against Iran.
The first dimension which should be analyzed here is possibility of military engagement between Israel and Iran. The point which should be taken into account is whether there is enough power [in Iran] to counteract Israel’s threats and if so, at what level? The current behavior of Tel Aviv has been considered by many military analysts, especially Western experts, as illogical. They have noted that given the existing situation of arms in the region and in view of Iran’s missile power and deterrence capacities, in addition to the security belt which exists around Israel, any adventurism against Iran by the Israeli regime is more like a suicide. Israel cannot act on a hit-and-run basis and will not be able to get away with a military attack without tasting the bitter taste of Iran’s powerful response. Also, since the officials of Israel are clearly initiators of a possible war, this issue will be of importance in terms of international law as well as from political and diplomatic standpoints. As a result, Iran will have an open, real and maximum maneuvering space when answering to Israel’s assault. Such an attack, on the other hand, may also change Iran’s interaction with the P5+1 group – which includes the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China. Therefore, the power to respond is one of the main dimensions of this issue. This means that Iran will never allow Israel to carry out any kind of military threat or maneuvering in order to achieve its goals.
The second dimension involves the consequences and outcomes of such an attack which are highly probably to get out of hand and create an uncontrollable situation in the region. Iran’s response to Israel’s attack will certainly not be a simple one, but will cover a wide range of responses which may have profound effects on the entire region. The provocations and adventurism of the [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government will cost them very dearly at regional level and will cause the existing equation to change from “threat in return for threat” to “attack in return for attack.” In that case and in view of official statements issued by Israeli officials, Tel Aviv will be the main party to be blamed for that situation. Persistence of the policy of threat and adventurism, in view of Iran’s power to retaliate, will actually cause the Israeli people to rapidly evacuate cities and the Israeli regime will face reverse immigration phenomenon. Therefore, the supporters of Israel should pay due attention to these conditions. They certainly can remember how the Israeli regime had to build an aerial corridor to conduct logistic operations during 33-day war [with Lebanon] and 22-day war [with Gaza]. Therefore, Iran will likewise look for the best ways to handle any situation.
The third dimension is the impact that such an attack will have on international economy. In other words, it will have a rapid effect on energy price in global markets and this will not be good news for European countries and the United States. The United States is currently heated with presidential election campaigns as price of fuel and its derivatives have been steadily rising. Therefore, a further rise in energy price can have a powerful negative impact on position of the incumbent President Barack Obama in the forthcoming presidential polls. This is why the vulnerable government of Israel is trying to make Washington’s policy a function of its own.
The fourth dimension is whether Tel Aviv will be able to achieve its desired goals through such an attack and impose its will on Iran? This issue should be analyzed in association with Israel’s war of nerves against Iran. If the Zionist regime means to change Iran’s deterrence power through creditable threat and media hype, it is making a strategic mistake. Such an analysis is clear sign that they neither know Iran, nor the Iranians. As put by Sun Tzu, the author of “The Art of War,” a warring party that does not know the enemy, has already lost half of the war. The adventurism and warmongering by Israel will enable Iran to choose its available options with due care and smartness and this will enable it to greatly increase its power to respond to an attack in strategic terms. It is not Iran’s will to reach this stage, but if forced to, it can easily change conditions. From the viewpoint of international analysts, such a behavior by Israel will not only fail to reduce Iran’s military might, but also provide Iran with more powerful reasoning to set new goals. Therefore, the regime of Tel Aviv and its supporters will be the main parties to blame for having forced Iran to set new goals and change the level of engagement.
The fifth dimension is whether Israel is domestically prepared for such an attack. Support from people is always one of the main factors which should be taken into account when making a new military move. The evidence in cyberspace as well as in Israel’s domestic environment and even its security and political environment clearly proves that everybody wants to control Netanyahu’s unruly behavior. His positions have no support base among people and political parties in Israel. Therefore, in order to continue his grasp on power, Netanyahu has resorted to rabbis who are members of the ultra-orthodox Shas Party. As a result, the main concern of those living in Tel Aviv is not the existence of Israel, but continuation of the radical government of Netanyahu; the viewpoints asserted by Israeli political parties as well as Israel’s public opinion attest to this fact. The US government is also well aware that the viewpoints of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak on attacking Iran constitute the minority view among Israel’s security cabinet. Even the ultra-orthodox Shas Party has voiced its opposition to an Iran attack by Israel, if it is not carried out in coordination with the United States. Therefore, Netanyahu has no serious support in Israel for attacking Iran. Another point which is worthy of mention here is the silence of the United Nations and its Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in this regard. How come that the secretary-general takes position against statements by Iranian officials during Quds Day ceremony, but pays no attention to continued threats from the regime in Tel Aviv against Iran? I think concerned officials should show a more powerful reaction in this regard, record every position they take on Israel in their track records, and reserve the right for Iran to take legal action on those positions through international judicial authorities.
In conclusion, if Israel really decided to attack Iran, it would be equivalent to shooting itself in the leg as this would be a sort of political suicide for the Netanyahu government. On the other hand, review of positions taken by the US government will reveal that the gap between US and Israel’s understandings of regional issues and time management is getting gradually deeper. Chairman of the United States’ Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey recently clearly announced that there are differences between positions of the United States and Israel on Iran’s nuclear energy program. This, however, is not enough. To control possible adventurism by Israel, the United States should take practical steps as the government of Netanyahu has overcome with an excessive sense of narcissism which has made it refractory to advice.
Former Iranian Ambassador to Armenia & Expert on Strategic Issue
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