Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

What would an Israeli attack on Iran make better?


By this point, I imagine many of you have read Jeffrey Goldberg's article considering the rationale for, and the consequences of, an Israeli attack on Iran. As it happens, I'm not an intelligence analyst: I don't know if such an attack is feasible, and if it is, how much it will do to delay Iran's nuclear-weapons program. I don't even know if there actually is an Iranian nuclear-weapons program.

But as I understand the underlying structure of the situation, it looks something like this: Israel is a dense concentration of Jews in the Middle East. The Middle East is mainly composed of Arab nations, most of which don't like Israel. It is also home to a large collection of terrorist organizations, most of which really hate Israel. The danger is that a nation that doesn't like Israel or a terrorist organization that really hates Israel could attain a weapon of mass destruction and decide to disregard the consequences and use it to wipe out much of the world's Jewry.

An Israeli attack on Iran's suspected nuclear program would, at best, do at least two things: First, delay Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons by some undetermined amount (though it might do the opposite!). Second, make the Arab world in general, and Iran and various terrorist organizations, hate Israel even more. It would also hurt Israel's standing in the world, spark terrorist reprisals of unknown effectiveness and ferocity, and generate more anti-Israeli -- and possibly pro-nuclear weapon -- pressure on various Arab governments.

Is that worth it? I'm skeptical, to say the least. But even if you think it is, it's certainly not an actual answer to the problem described in paragraph two. Israel's plan for the future can't be to hope that either it or America will succeed in bombing or invading every unfriendly Arab nation that attempts to upgrade its military capabilities. And in making the short-term problem of Iran's weapon ambition a bit better, it may make the longer-term problems of regional hatred and angry terrorists even worse.

Deep in Goldberg's article, a "senior Israeli official" worries that President Obama "thinks like the liberal American Jews who say, ‘If we remove some settlements, then the extremist problem and the Iran problem go away.’” The problem is obviously more complicated than that. But as the Israeli government swings far to the right, elevates anti-Arab extremists live Avigdor Lieberman to positions of power, and focuses intently on bombing Iran while essentially mocking those who focus on the peace process, it becomes clearer and clearer that they have no solutions, and may not even be interested in solutions, to their underlying problems.

To put this another way, the Israeli government is currently willing to do dangerous things when they involve firepower -- like attacking Iran or bombing Gaza -- but not hard things when they involve fighting domestic battles to restart to the peace process and reverse the settlements. That's a world in which their central problem keeps getting worse, and there is no hope of it getting better. I'd be a lot more likely to support "dangerous things Israel thinks to be necessary" if Israel seemed more interested in doing the hard things everyone knows to be necessary.

Photo credit: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post Photo.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 16, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Israel/Palestine  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Score one for wheat
Next: Big Elizabeth Warren news


Not so small point: Iran is a Persian, not an Arab, nation.

Posted by: danwhalen2 | August 16, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The things you're talking about are dangerous too. Just ask Yitzhak Rabin. A big difference is to whom they're dangerous.

Posted by: paul314 | August 16, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"The ... government is currently willing to do dangerous things when they involve firepower ... but not hard things when they involve fighting domestic battles"

Good thing WE don't live a country like that!

Posted by: bswainbank | August 16, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Conventional thinking in Foreign Policy circles is most Arabs (Jordon, Saudi, Egypt, etc.) will be happy to see Iran without nukes and hence may not contribute to anger and resentment beyond a point (apart from letting the steam go of their subjects). It is the standard Shiite versus Sunni divide.

The flip side of allowing Iran to have nukes is these Arab countries are bound to opt for their own nuke weapons programs. That will need to say more.

Also did you take into consideration another argument and report about how Israel convinced or attempted to convince China that allowing nuclear Iran is in the end not good for them as well as Israeli attack on Iranian nukes so that China will co-operate more with UNSC? Who knows, that may be one reason that China has co-operated so far in UNSC even if at the lower end of the spectrum.

To say the least, this is a complicates issue and America does not have any good choices here. In the end supporting mosque in NY but backing Israeli attack on Iran nuke sites may be only best option for Barack Obama.

Posted by: umesh409 | August 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

A bomb: the prevailing winds blow to the South in that area; radio-active oil fields produce very little oil.
Sinmcerely J R Dittbrenner

Posted by: jrditt29 | August 16, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Iran's nukes are a matter of concern to many countries in the ME besides Israel. Or at least to the governments of many countries in the ME. Which doesn't mean they won't join in the general weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth if Israel does, indeed, attack Iran's facilities.

This is an existential threat to Israel, unlike anything we can even begin to imagine. Somehow, I can't see that the litany of negatives outweighs the desire for survival.

However, if we ever turn our attention to comprehensive immigration reform, we might consider providing for expedited immigration from Israel just in case.

Posted by: bgmma50 | August 16, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, missile defense should be a key component of our strategy to combat Iran's nuclear program. If we can use technology to render their weapons obsolete, we can maneuver them into a choice between capitulation and the destruction of their economy in an arms race they can't win.

Obama gave away the entire farm by unilaterally taking missile defense in the Czech Republic and Poland off the table and getting nothing of consequence in return.

Posted by: bgmma50 | August 16, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

While the J-street crowd would probably pose for pictures with Iran's leaders, most of the world are scared of this nutjob.

Israel is the reason Iraq never got a WMD, as they did attack nuclear plants. We only found out in the 1990s how important their attack was. Now we are at a similar impass, and Europe and the US are burring their heads in the sand.

Posted by: Natstural | August 16, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Finally, a half way sensible article on this subject is written in this news organization, even though it is not a news paper article and it is just an online blog.

Posted by: mbintampa | August 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Several posters in this thread repeat the argument that the Arab world would actually like Israel to take out Iran's nuclear program.

This is, IMO, nuts. Sure, Arab governments may want Israel - or someone - to take out Iran's nuclear program, because they view the Iranian government as a rival power. But the general Arab population doesn't necessarily feel the same way. Sure, they may have complicated feelings towards Iran, but the Arab street will almost certainly regard an Israeli attack as another sign of Israeli belligerance and as a further sign that Israel AND the U.S. are engaged in a global war on Islam.

Keep in mind too that any Arab government that is suspected of supporting the action is going to have an enormous domestic problem keeping the lid on domestic dissent. Although I wouldn't bet on it, it certainly could contribute to revolutions, particularly given the succession issue in Egypt.

Posted by: Isa8686 | August 16, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein has zero ideas on how to save Israel from annihilation, and it does not look like he cares much whether Israel survives.

Still he criticizes others who do offer ideas just because they do not share his party affiliations.

It looks irresponsible at best and rather tasteless in any case.

Posted by: peaceforgoodpeople | August 16, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Iran is not an Arab country. Secondly, Arabs like Iran about as much as they like Israel.

Mostly, there is a third consequence that the article left out that will have truly horrible consequences for us: If Israel attacks Iran the price of oil will go up sharply. Once that happens we will be thrilled if the economy grows by only 40000 jobs a month. Instead it will be losing hundreds of thousands. And we will not be speculating whether the recovery is sputtering, because we will be in a severe recession.

Leaving the third consequence out of the article implies that the author assumes that Iran will not retaliate and Saudi Arabia will be able to again pick up the slack in the drop of the oil supply.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | August 16, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, that a nice piece. Short, factual, and most of all rational and based on easy to understand common-sense.

I might also add that the day after Israel attacks Iran, Israel will no longer ever look like it does right now, most of it will be destroyed by missiles.

About 40% of the world's oil will stop flowing triggering a devastating world economic depression, and WalMart won't be able to stock shelves anymore and Americans would not be able to afford the $10 a gallon gasoline to get there because of even more massive layoffs than we are expereincing now as a result of wars of choice that never took the root of the problem in hand and solved it.

And still the illegal colonies grow and no one on the planet knows where Israel's actual borders are.

This is directly because of American support for Israel's illegal occupations of land that it does not hold sovereignty over.

The American people will also pay an enormous price for this. Not because of Muslims, but because of our support for the continued illegal actions of the state of Israel.

And there is no sign that President Obama will do anything differently than his neocons predecessor.

Posted by: bbsnews | August 16, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Avigdor Lieberman already in a position of power in the Israeli cabinet? And yes, the Iranians are Persians, Indo-Europeans, not Arabs, though with many ethnic minorities.

If Israel is existentially threatened, it is because its (Jewish) population is so vastly outnumbered in the ME and everywhere. So to counter this threat, Israel developed nuclear weapons, on both land and at sea, at a time when many ME countries had big militaries, so that it could retaliate against any serious military threat. Given its nuclear program, is Israel really existentially threatened (as opposed to many of its leaders and people feeling existentially threatened) now? Are they more threatened than we were when the USSR had missles pointed at us from various around the world plus its bomber fleet?

I agree with MJ Rosenberg that an attack by Israel is suicidal, especially if nukes are used. If Iran is such a danger, why wouldn't one think it would retaliate against both Israel and us? Goldberg discusses some of the ways, but there are obviously others in this network-dependent high-tech world. And remember, the Iraq war was supposed to be transformative and all it did was create more instability. An Israeli attack would be infinitely worse. Just because Israel has gotten away with imposing its will on the Palestinians by force doesn't mean this would extend to a sovereign, ancient country of 70 million people.

This kind of thinking is morally bankrupt and totally crazy.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Conventional thinking in Foreign Policy circles is most Arabs (Jordon, Saudi, Egypt, etc.) will be happy to see Iran without nukes and hence may not contribute to anger and resentment beyond a point (apart from letting the steam go of their subjects). It is the standard Shiite versus Sunni divide.

Now, this is a case where the premise is just wrong-headed. Iran does not have nukes, has not been in violation of any sort of nuclear policy, and in fact, the usual suspects have been pounding the drums saying that Iran has been "on the brink of acquiring a nuclear portfolio" since, oh, about 1977 at least. They have a history of doing that ;-)

The sad thing is, investment in nuclear technology is something that every nation should be doing as a long-term strategy to deal with the consequences of Peak Oil. Yes, even oil-rich countries like Iran. So what you have here are people who are for purely poisonous and political reasons going after a country they don't like for pursuing long-term energy sustainability, just like every country should be doing.

That's crazy.

Posted by: ScentOfViolets | August 16, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

St least they'll still be there to provide a realistic testing environment for our new weapons systems.

In terms of maximizing our military effectiveness, testing is an extremely valuable service. Although it is morally abhorrent to hope a country stays in conflict just so they can provide this service.

Posted by: zosima | August 16, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I stopped reading at "I don't even know if there actually is an Iranian nuclear-weapons program."

Gee, it must be nice not to live here in Tel Aviv and listen to Iranians (one of the largest oil producers) insisting on having a nuclear program while swearing to wipe Israel (me) off the map, not to mention arming Hamas in Israel's south and Hizbullah in the north armed to the teeth with missiles aimed where I live.

What would a (preemptive) Israeli attack on Iran make better? What would a US attack on Al Qaida have made better had it prevented 9/11?

Posted by: steve601 | August 16, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein Just Like His Boss Obama Speaks About Things He Doesn't Understand

Who is wunder J streeter, an Obama implant in the Washpost, an agent provocateur, party apparatchik, a creator of the Journolist?
His first article for the Washpost Ezra wrote at the age of 7 months but had to wait till 9 months for cesarean delivery to have the article published. Had he been born 110 years earlier he would most likely burned the Reistag before the crazy Dutch.

As his boss Obama, Ezra writes boldly about all subjects with zero knowledge and has zero experience about everything he writes about. For example, he didn't know that Iran isn't an Arab country. And there isn't much love lost between the Arabs and the Iranians.

Israel has numerous reasons to bomb Iran now:
a) Iran supports and arms the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.
b) Iran's mullahs hate Israel and try just like the J Street to spread the anti-Israel hatred all over the world.
c) Iran is led by crazy mullahs and by the craziest of all President Ahmadenijad who also has zero education and, therefore, didn't know about the Holocaust. Even for this one reason Israel has an inalienable right to bomb Qum, Natanz and Tehran.
d) The best time to bomb is now when the whole American army is located in Mesopotamia and Afghanistan. Why to wait?

Ezra provocateur doesn't understand Israel's political system that is completely identical to American one: Israel has a far-right government and we have an extreme leftist government with an extreme leftist, a Third World Ideologue Barack Hussein Obama.
That's life, Ezra: you should really work in the CIA.

Posted by: m-epstein | August 16, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I still don't understand what an attack on Iran would accomplish over the long term. As Ezra points out, military action would at best delay acquisition of nuclear weapons, not prevent it. So if the point is to avoid an "existential threat" to Israel, bombing Iran won't achieve the goal.

If Iran wants the bomb, it seems to me that they're going to get it sooner or later. If so, then efforts should be focused on trying to get them to not want it, or learning how to live with it. If military action can't stop it, why bother when it can also make things far worse?

As for bgmma50's claim that missile defense provides the answer, any rogue nation that wants to nuke us (or anyone else) won't be putting a bomb on a missile with a return address on it. It would be far easier, cheaper, reliable, and anonymous to smuggle something in. Missile defense is useless in this situation, even if it worked (which it may not).

Perhaps Israel's security makes it too hard to smuggle in a nuke. If so, then I doubt there's an existential threat. An Iranian nuclear missile attack on Israel would mean end the Iranian regime, either through Israel's retaliation or international reaction. It was said years ago that the Saddam regime may have be homicidal, but it wasn't suicidal. I think that's even more true of Iran.

Posted by: dasimon | August 16, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

steve601: "What would a (preemptive) Israeli attack on Iran make better? What would a US attack on Al Qaida have made better had it prevented 9/11?"

If an attack on Al-Qaeda would have prevented 9/11, then yes it would have made things better.

Would an attack on Iran prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, if not now then a few years from now? I don't think anyone has argued that it would. That's the difference (putting aside the possibility that attacking Iran would make the situation even worse).

Posted by: dasimon | August 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Does Israel have a plan for achieving peace with the Palestinians? And, if so, just what is that plan?

With the embarrassing, total lack of such a plan, it becomes obvious that Israel does not want peace. It continues to build Israeli settlements in land which was expected to become the new Palestine--if a peace settlement were to be worked out. But how realistic is it to expect the Palestinians to be able to enjoy their own country if it is dotted all over with heavily armed enclaves of enemies?

Israel is being piggy. What israel wants is to drive the remaining Palestinians out of the West Bank and out of Gaza so that they can have it all. So that they can have it all. I keep hearing about what a wonderful ally israel is (for the United States) but I can't imagine how anyone could think that.

Am I mistaken? If you think so, please tell me what Israel's peace plan is.

Posted by: fredglynn3 | August 16, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

It would make very little better except for the profit and stock prices of defense companies, and for that matter it would generate additional support for hardliners in Iran's government.

What is the probability Isreal can permanently prevent Iran from ever gaining nuclear weapons? Probably near zero. How does the probability of Iran using nuclear weapons against Israel change when Israel attacks it? Probably increases.

It's a terrifying situation but it's hard to see how an attack could help.

Posted by: justin84 | August 16, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Israel cannot bomb Iran without refueling the planes going in and coming out. Israel does not have sufficient aerial refueling capacity to do it alone and if it did would have to stage those tanker planes in either US or Turkish controlled air space. That is not me talking, that is what a straight reading of Cordesman and Toukan's March 2009 study tells you. Study on a Possible Israeli Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Development Facilities.

This is not a mystery to anyone with a map and a knowledge of the range of F-15 and F-16s, in fact here is the map from that study.

In response to this I get people indulging in fantasies about daisy chaining Eitan Drones around Saudi Arabia or launching cruise missile attacks from Dolphin submarines but all ultimately suffer the same fate, the only way to get Israeli launch platforms in range of Iran requires active U.S. assistance during and after the fact. I suppose Israel could launch its planes and dare the U.S. not to refuel them or to interfere with Israeli refueling in U.S. controlled air space, but no one is going to get fooled here. Any Israeli raid will be seen and legally be an act of war by the U.S. against Iran.

Now maybe there is something I am missing and the IDF has found some way around the laws of physics and the reality of range/speed/payload/ceiling tradeoffs for fighter-bombers and I would happily read anything you can point me to. But for now this seems to be a big Neo-Con bluff to get the U.S. to do Israel's dirty work. And the fact that no one in the Pentagon is shooting this down using this publicly available data is disturbing. Gosh you might almost think the Air Force and the Navy are just dying to justify their expensive toys by getting into a real shooting war.

Posted by: BruceWebb | August 16, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Am I mistaken? If you think so, please tell me what Israel's peace plan is."

I am pro-Israel and anti-Likud. In part because I know what the 'peace plan' the Likud led coalition has in mind, they are not particularly shy in sharing it. But the odd conventions that run the US MSM and most of even the left blogosphere place a clear discussion of that plan and its historical analogs literally outside the boundaries of acceptable discourse, in part because Godwin's Law has been elevated from a wry observation to Rule One of the Intertube Operations Manual and violation gets you banned and exiled to Chomsky-stan.

We know there are Israeli Doves. We also know that if push comes to shove probably most U.S. Jews would align themselves with the Doves. Which in a rational world would allow non-Jewish liberals to express open opposition to Likud and describe its motivations for what they are. But on this topic rationality got shown the door and our only hope is that J-Street manages to overcome AIPAC. And even for them it is an uphill battle to escape the 'self-hating Jew' label.

I self-exiled myself from dKos when I found out there was actually a formal rule banning this whole line of historical analysis, you literally cannot post on this topic along comparative historical lines.

But there is a way around this. You can find the Likud Coalition Peace Plan in black and white, probably already on your bookshelf. All you need to do is to read the sixth book in (I think) either the Hebrew or Christian Bible, that is the Book of Joshua. You could call it the Kahane/A. Lieberman Operations Manual. I found its implications chilling.

Posted by: BruceWebb | August 16, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ezra Klein,

How is it fair to leave out of the problem in paragraph two this sentence: "Israel really dislikes the Arab nations that surround it as well"?

The hostility is not, and has never been, one-sided. You cannot be taken seriously on this issue unless you understand that, and are able to say it out loud.

Posted by: Stace1 | August 16, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

You banned yourself from dKos? Makes sense. You have come to the most anti Israel blog outside of Yemen or Iran. Klein's position, that the Iranian nuclear weapons program remains "alleged" is more pro mullah than the Iranian regime itself.

Posted by: truck1 | August 16, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

One should not forget that the West is not at war with Islam. Islam declared war on all in the non-Muslim world during the life of Mohammed. There is the World of Islam and the World of War. No other. I think it would be a nice jesture if Islam would redefine itself and say that it could live together in peace with non-Muslim countries and people. Why can't Jews and Christians live in Muslim countries?

Posted by: understanding411 | August 16, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: clownsandliars1 | August 17, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

How can we reasonably object to Iran having nuclear weapons? Israel has nuclear weapons in defiance of UN protocols and expresses intent to attack Iran or, incredibly, manipulate United States into doing so in its behalf. Iran's very existence is threatened. Of course Iran wants nuclear bombs. Iran needs a nuclear deterrent. Tribal religion dangerously compromises the decision process in both countries. But Iran has a recent history of peace, whereas Israel has repeatedly initiated preemptive wars and otherwise pretty much continuously brutalized its neighbors. An obvious everyone wins resolution exists: Both Israel and Iran relinquish all nuclear weapons and related efforts and submit to continuing invasive UN verification.

Posted by: smehgol | August 17, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

What does Israel do for America?

Posted by: walker1 | August 17, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

domestic terror incidents ensue-call for domestic security (re-employment of stagnant workers),U.S. goes to war materials production( re-employment), and you have a repetition of WORLD WAR II economics trying to lift the economic conundrum.WON'T WORK-NOT SAME ECONOMY THAT WAS PRODUCING WHEN US ENTERED WWII. WE HAVE OUTSOURCED BOTH JOBS AND FACTORIES, AND MATERIALS. IRAN ATTACK IS NO-WIN---UNLESS----ALIENS-----------?????!!!

Posted by: mantleshed | August 18, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Have you ever wondered why Iran, which sits on the largest oil and natural gas reserves in the world, wants nuclear power plant for electricity?

The reason is simple: Nuclear weapons.

If this plant goes on line, it will be the end of Israel.

Posted by: ahashburn | August 18, 2010 4:49 AM | Report abuse

Bolton's comments urging an Iran attack motivated me yesterday to recommend immediate and permanent withdrawal of all financial support for Israel. I called both senators and my representative.

I almost never call politicians. Can you understand how fed up I am at these wars?

I'm tired of Zionist shills like Joe Lieberman. He needs to run for the Knesset. I called and left a message to that effect.

We're done. Do you get it?

Posted by: jburt56 | August 18, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Do not bomb till I leave the East-Coast of America please.

I am going to the rocky mountains on the ASAP.

Israel we are all counting on you to start the Global Cleansing, as in 911, we all have a job to do for our Nations in protecting the homeland against terrorists.

Every allied Nation are obligated to make this sacrifice from a portion of there own populations to save global human resources, God Speed.

This is all for the greater good and the beginning for the 500,000,000 int the New World Order for all mankind to live in global peace, Praise Science.
Shawn Earnest
Madawaska Maine.04756
An Aspiring Fictional-Fiction Writer.

Posted by: Predator-Hunter | August 18, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The USA and Israel together with the western media are using lies and propaganda to paint Ahmadinejad as a threat in order to brainwash international public opinion and justify an attack on Iran.

This is exactly what they did to Iraq.

The portrayal of Ahmadinejad wanting to wipe Israel off the map is nothing but a sick propaganda campaign to demonize him in the eyes of public opinion.

The entire world knows that it is Israel which is wiping Palestine off the map, but sadly, the so called democratic countries such as UK, USA, France, Germany etc, have kept their silence and let the criminal leaders of Israel slaughter innocent and defenseless Palestinian women and children with inhumane weapons and get away with murder.

Posted by: ardestani | August 18, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein, please read the following book "The_American_War_Congress_and_Zionism", in the "WIDENER LIBRARY (HX 3AQJM)" so you be clear as who is the terrorist in the Middle East.

The rogue apartheid Zionist entity has over 200+ Thermo Nuclear weapons in her arsenal. They have over 5 nuclear carrying submarines lurking in the oceans and the Persian Gulf. How can a single or a dozen rudimentary Iranian nuclear bombs threaten her that is “IF” Iranians even decide to have them??!

What should be clear to everyone and that is, if Iran is attacked she will not just sit there. She will retaliate. Iran fought an 8 years long war with Iraq which has 25 million populations and was armed to the teeth by us and the Russians. Iran fought that war while she was under sanctions and we were giving Saddam Hussein every satellite image of the Iranians troop movement and he still could not win the war! Do you think the rogue Zionists entity can last an 8 years long war with Iran? Or do you think a series of bombing on Iran can deter them and scare them or cause them to say OOH NO MORE PLEASE WE GIVE UP!! Get real people. They will be all over the place and NO Zionists will be safe on the planet.

The Iranians will not allow another repeat of the 1953 and will put up the fight of their life to prevent that to happen again. Think About that

Posted by: Esther_Haman | August 18, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: clownsandliars1 | August 18, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Iran warns Israeland US not to raid nuclear facilities.

Iran's UN representative Mohammad Khazaee warned Israel and US that if it attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran would set Tel Aviv and New York on fire. In other words, incinerate the city.

On the other hand, in September 11, 2008t, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy stated that a U.S. raid probably would draw a proportional response from Iran.

Mr. Khazaee speculated that even if Iran ended its nuclear development, its enemies would continue to confront it.

A study by the Institute for Science and International Security concludes that a raid on Iranian nuclear facilities probably would not delay Iran’s nuclear development and probably would induce it to develop nuclear weapons.

A fellow at Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Caitlin Talmadge, warned that Iran could the strait with mines, not only missiles. "It could take many weeks, even months, to restore the full flow of commerce, and more time still for the oil markets to be convinced that stability had returned.” (IMRA, 7/31/10.)

So, if Israel attacks a military-industrial target, Iran threatens to respond by attacking Israeli civilians, i.e., by terrorism. That would not be the proportional response that the Washington Institute thinks Iran would make to a U.S. raid.

If Iran really ended its military nuclear development, wouldn’t the U.S. remove sanctions, and wouldn’t Israel have no nuclear facilities to raid?

Iran’s ability to plant a sufficient number of mines to prohibit oil shipments for months is a daunting new prospect. It raises the stakes.

Posted by: clownsandliars1 | August 18, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

That's an retarded article no offense, do you think Iran wants 200 nukes falling down on itself?, Israel is the only none-nuclear state nuclear state which actually poses danger to more then it's neighbors. Besides we already have an Islamic bomb in a terrorist filled Country Pakistan, but it would be far easier to steal a American nuclear bomb from Europe which they host in five European countries and haven't taken much care about. In the 90's they even had totally untrained crew that didn't know guarding procedures and protocol or even how to do maintenance on the weapons.

@clownsandliars1, no they wouldn't remove the sanctions as most US sanctions on Iran has nothing to do with putting pressure on the nuclear energy program or even their missile program. Any trade is forbidden with Iran under US laws and will continue to be no matter what they do. They have nothing to do with missile or nuclear programs. They where in place before all that.

Israel is strong enough to defend itself with all the support it gets hardware wise. Nobody needs to defend the country by force. They are also the only ones strong enough to destroy themselves.

Posted by: Pento | August 20, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

The arming Gaza with missiles/rockets argument is moot, can militants buy military rockets and missiles and smuggle it into Gaza, then they can smuggle it in to Egypt and just launch from there, there's no need for the weapons to be hosted a few kilometers away in Gaza. If they could they could also buy from other players making the Iran is dangers argument kinda moot.

Hamas isn't Gaza, Hamas isn't all the militants most of the rocket and mortar attacks comes from groups not affiliated with them. You in Israel knows better. Your newspapers and army/security services is the best on reporting on it.

Posted by: Pento | August 20, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Soon UAE will have nuclear reactors, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia no one objects to that even though they do plenty of dirty things and host plenty of terrorists. More so then Iran. And that's just in addition to Pakistan. Boltons argument is about as stupid as this articles argumentation. There's no reason to take people like that seriously he doesn't even have any political clout any more and what they say on fox news is irrelevant.

Israel «does» have the capability to defend itself, it can gd nuke every European country and has a conventional army stronger then most of the bigger european countries. It could take over half of Europe if it wanted too, but Iran has retaliatory means too even if they can't spur of a nuclear attack they can destroy military targets in Israel, and they aren't totally defenseless for Israeli planes. Israel is one of the largest and strongest military in the world. They got an army comparable to (stronger then) Italy but with Nukes of their own. If they really have to they can strike at any Islamic nation in the world. Without launching a single plane. Of course war will not make it safer, but that doesn't mean they are defenseless and need protection. It's up to them as we can't say take away their nukes. Israelis fate is up to them alone.

Posted by: Pento | August 20, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

You're watching too much sh.. Hollywood movies. Never is about nuclear power nor WMD or 'security concern'. Is the Economy Stupid!! the kind that can hide a huge and rampant Depression, the kind that put in march the industrial-war-machine and brain-wash the herds-mind.

Posted by: Rosswild | August 20, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Bush started all this by calling "Iraq, Iran, and North Korea evil empires" and then invading Iraq on lies. Of course Iran and North Korea worked towards getting a nuke. I am as concerned about the religious fanatics in Israel having the bomb as the religious fanatics in Iran having it. Israeli Ambassador Lieberman has called for all Palestinians to be driven out of Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank and it's OK to murder the ones who don't want to leave. What a kind religion! By the way Christians and Jews could worship freely in Iraq until we invaded.

Posted by: treetopsfarm | August 21, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company