Betting all-in

High stakes Iran game


Betting all-in
by Shahir ShahidSaless

President Obama, in an unusual move, rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request for a meeting during his visit to the US for participation in the annual UN General Assembly in New York. The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, quoted an Israeli official saying that Netanyahu’s office sent a message to the White House stating that although he would spend only two and a half days in the US, he is prepared to travel to the US capital to meet with President Obama. “The official added that the White House rejected the request and said that at this time Obama's schedule does not allow for a meeting.“ However, following a series of publicized disagreements between the two countries, the rejection is viewed by many observers as a reaction motivated by something deeper.

On September 11, in response to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement that the US would not set a deadline for Iran’s capitulation to halting its nuclear program, Netanyahu said, “The world tells Israel ‘wait, there’s still time.’ And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’” He added, “Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”

Netanyahu has indicated that because negotiations with Iran are deadlocked and that country continues its nuclear program, Israel is considering a strike against Iran’s atomic facilities before its nuclear capabilities reach a threatening and irreversible point. The official US position is that sanctions are imposing a great deal of pressure on Iran’s economy and the country is still far away from acquiring the capability to build an atomic bomb, therefore time should be given for diplomacy to work.

While Netanyahu has been overtly goading the US into a war against Iran, the rationale behind his strategy, as officially stated, is highly questionable. There is nary a report supporting the idea of attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities as a remedy to Iran’s nuclear crisis. Common wisdom dictates that bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities may inflict heavy physical losses to the country’s nuclear program but would not eradicate Iran's indigenous nuclear knowledge. A report published on September 13, 2012, prepared by a bipartisan expert group, concludes that a unilateral Israeli attack would set back the Iranian nuclear program by two years and an American attack, by four years. Additionally, the most likely results of such an attack will be the intensification of confrontation between Iran and the US, Iran exiting the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and probably deciding to acquire its own nuclear arsenal.

Logically, Netanyahu’s intense political maneuvering to entangle the US in a war against Iran cannot simply be to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, which in effect will culminate in nothing more than temporary pain relief followed by unfavorable consequences. His intention, at a minimum, is to eliminate the risk of Iran’s nuclear weaponization permanently. How can this be achieved? The aforementioned report concludes that if the objective is, “ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear bomb,” the US, “would need to conduct a significantly expanded air and sea war over a prolonged period of time, likely several years.”

It is this scenario from which the Obama administration chooses to distance itself. In this respect, Netanyahu has received a clear and unequivocal message that if Israel attacks Iran, it will be on its own. As a result, although Netanyahu’s long term plan is to involve the US in a war with Iran and destroy that country, this would not be an attainable goal at this point. This has led many observers to believe that Netanyahu’s escalation of Israeli-US tensions in recent weeks only benefits Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, who is not doing well, and complicates the situation for Obama by weakening his support among pro-Israel forces, as the US presidential election enters its final lap.

The Jewish Daily Forward editorial notes, “It’s difficult to recall a time when an Israeli prime minister has inserted himself into a presidential election campaign in the way that Benjamin Netanyahu has. It’s even harder to recall a time when a trusted ally openly urged the American president to undertake a questionable, unpopular and highly risky war.” A recent poll conducted by the nonpartisan Chicago Council on Global Affairs shows that, “only 38 percent [of the Americans] say the United States should bring its military forces into the war on the side of Israel. A majority (59%) says it should not.”

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu rejected accusations of trying to influence the outcome of the US elections in favor of Mitt Romney, saying they were “completely groundless”. However, Yossi Verter, writing in Haaretz, revealed that, “a very senior Israeli figure” that is in close contact with the US administration, “relates in private conversations that in the eyes of the Democratic administration, Netanyahu is perceived as campaigning on behalf of Mitt Romney.” The article continues, “To the president and his aides,” recent maneuvers by Netanyahu, including his cooperation with Republican Congressmen against the White House, look like, “crude, vulgar and unrestrained intervention in the US election campaign.” Obama’s decision not to meet with Netanyahu may be explained in this context.

The current developments with regards to Netanyahu overestimating his strength not only may result in his major defeat but could also trigger dramatic changes in Israel, the US, and the relations between them, if Obama wins. First, if Obama is elected he will most likely, in a tougher tone, try to establish the fact that when the interests of the two states do not coincide, the US is not going to put Israel’s interest ahead of its own. In a September 23 interview with CBS’s 60 minutes, Obama clarified this, stating, “When it comes to our national security decisions, any pressure that I feel is simply to do what's right for the American people”.

Second, if Obama is re-elected, Netanyahu’s gamble in all likelihood will backfire, he and the Likud party will be weakened, and his moderate rivals will rise in Israel. It is hard to fathom how Netanyahu can lead Israel while there is a widening rift between him and the president of Israel’s closest and most powerful ally.

Third, the likely rise of moderates in Israel, coupled with Obama’s freedom from disquietude upon re-election, will pave the way in reaching a negotiated solution for the years-long impasse over Tehran’s nuclear program. This will prevent a calamitous war between Iran, the US and Israel.

And last but not least, Obama’s position is a dramatic departure from the tradition of unconditional support for Israel during US presidential campaigns pursued by candidates. Referring to Israel’s maneuvers, in his September 23rd interview, Obama asserted that he was “going to block out any noise that’s out there.” When it comes to Israel’s security, Obama said that he would consider it because he felt “obligation,” not “pressure.”

Now, if Obama wins the election this would deliver a significant message and set precedence, especially for presidential candidates in the future, that one may still be elected if he or she conducts meaningful and patriotic dialogue with the American people while rejecting pressures imposed by Israel’s hard-liners and their supporters in America, the so called pro-Israel lobby. The outcome might impact future presidential campaigns, as well as US foreign policy, because it would alleviate the pressure that candidates and presidents felt were they to be deprived of the pro-Israel lobby support.

It is noteworthy that despite tensions between Obama and Netanyahu, Obama still has a significant lead amongst the American Jewish voters. According to the latest Gallop poll, 70% of likely Jewish voters have decided to vote for Obama. In another poll conducted in Florida, one of a few key swing states that could decide the outcome of the election, 69%of Jewish voters support President Obama.

If Obama wins re-election one thing is almost certain: the foreign policy of unwavering support for Israel will be replaced by unambiguous deference to US national interests. This scenario would moderate Israel’s policies, ultimately contributing to the security of the region and the world as a whole.

This article is part of Insider & Insight, a new AIC program aimed at providing different perspectives and analyses on key developments in US-Iran relations. The commentary and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official position of American Iranian Council.


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Thanks Amir jan..You hit 

by vildemose on

Thanks Amir jan..You hit  the nail on the head. All of our oppositions are too greedy and too selfish.


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Vildemose: On Solution,

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

Public discussion and Widespread Awareness of this through airing it out is the main tool Iranians have.  The political forces of Iranians today, each has a motive for covering up this plan for their own selfish benefit and short term gains at the expense of Iran.  The political competition does not help get all on the same page.

Due to political forces at work, many are not wanting to get Iranians educated as to the past, as some think the IRI will benefit, others think the shah will benefit, and prodemocracy forces mistakenly think they will lose out, so the future doesn't look too bright on the raising peoples awareness front.  Meanwhile all the western media and university institutions and research funds are busy impacting iranians on the past in a way that covers it all up, therefore the people can not see straight infront of them.

Going up against these powers is especially difficult because of the incomparable size of resources they have, as well as the political short sightedness of Iranians as was ade perfectly clear in 1979 when people willing gave everything up for death and poverty. 

The USA really has 2 other issues infront of it that need to be resolved, neither of which are yet resolved, before it can finally get to destroying Iran and renaming the parts. 1) the US Depression of 2008, it is expected to get worse in a couple of years as markets feel the consequences of no credit, no growth and debt.  There is really no guarantee where the USA will be before they get out of this depression and the USA needs lots of money and growing economy to handle its #1 concern Russia, which is on hold.

2) For Russia Iran is the most sensitive geopolitical/strategic country and Russia is a priority above Iran for the USA.  If the project for Syria/Assad doesn't work, then its less likely to work for Iran and further harming Iran will be put on hold until after Russia is Handled because both the securiy council and ww3 would prevent further abuses on Iranians (ie going from bad to worse).  After all the money the USA spent and all the diplomacy, China was never cleaved off of Russia and has remained Russia's Ally against the USA, mostly because Africanization of Iran is temporarily opposed to China's Vital National Interest which needs benefits more from 2 stable competing, secure Energy supplyers by land, than just 1 which is russia, this will change for China, if one day it rules the waves and is no longer hemmed in by US Naval power.

Getting the USA to change its plan is impossible due to the reason for which it was made, which explains why both partys are pursuing it regardless of who comes to power.  The Reason Iran is in the plight it is in is due to US Empires goals on over drive, not the late shah making a mistake.  The error is a mental one and if this is a mental decline of the USA and does not show a physical decline for the USA, as colonailism did for the UK and Germany, then the USA wll go this path and either succeed in destroying Iran or die trying, (to die trying would also be proof of a preceding mental decline)

My Personal view is pessimistic, I think the USA can and will eventually destroy iran, because of their strength relative to the rest and Iranian immaturity/disfunction.  The Game is the US's, unless the USA gives up its own goal for no reason.  33 years ago MRP gave up his crown and life to thwart the USA's main Plan and he did delay the US, it worked, but now time has caught up with Iran and eventually the USA is going to pursue its initial goal, which they failed to reach through friendship (trying to steer the shah to implement the plan for the USA) and also failed through betrayal (betrayal of the shahs team).



One of the main features

by vildemose on

One of the main features of balkanization is more islamization of the governments in the region. The first Islamization plan worked beautifully through a revolution hijacked by the radical Islamists.

IRI and reformers and MEK and even Phalavi are enablerS of this plan to materialize; even it takeS a 100 years. Truly tragic.


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


There will be no war

by MRX on

the agenda was and is balkanization of mideast so no country can be strong enough to oppose any thing.

Interesting thing is Iranian people even the ones that oppose isalmic rapist republic have fallen to his trick and now advocating 'federal government based on ethnicity!' talking about playing with fire. 

Get a bottle of whiskey and relax on your chai,r watch the CNN and see people toring each other apart for turf in the future Iranestan.


Today's Obama and Netanyahu's Talk

by Abnabot on

Netanyahu is working hard to create a war in the Middle East, that would benefit the dilemma Israel is in these days. Of course, Iran's regime loves the idea, as Iran's economy is in a melt down! Progressive Iranians should rise against destrying Iran which would benefit two anti-human governments.

Please note that, we should separate American Jews (traditionally Democrat) from the Zionists Americans connected to Israel.


Amirparviz: You are right.

by vildemose on

Amirparviz: You are right. This is a war of attrition. The US is a master at this war that brought the USSR to its knees. The US view is in this war for long term. It can afford it and has the means indefinitely to win it as it did with the USSR.

But what is the solution? 


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


The USA playing the Good cop/Israel the Bad cop

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

all intended to distract the people of Iran from what the USA is busy planning and organizing for Iran.  War is not in the cards.  But talk of Freedom, Human Rights and Deomcracy are, in order to deceive Iranians, the same way the USA did in 1979, to achieve the Wests real intent "Africanization of Iran" as it supports MeK, the Iranian Labor force & Iraqi/Iranian Kurds, to be used to reach the goal.  Neither The IRI nor the USA will change their path.  The USA will stay focussed on its goal to increase regression/poverty, to divide Iran and dissolve it on ethnic lines and the IRI will focus on nuclear production.  Neither the IRI nor The people of Iran can stand a real chance versus US Power.  Fate I hope changes this to the benefit of all. 

For now the USA is in a depression and it will not come out of it for awhile yet. The USA is really at war with every country in the world, clearly visible from wikileaks, though not known by the general public.  I am saddened by the path of the USA for Iran and feel that Iranians are in danger of being badly harmed soon by the USA or else the USA itself will no longer be a major power.  As if the IRI was not bad enough for Iranians, they have a USA that cares more about oil than their blood. 


Double Standards

by kombizz on