Reports on an increased possibility of a US attack on Iran are raising some serious concerns. But I don’t think it is anything but a psy-op, possibly this time by the liberals to frighten and provoke the Iranian government either to give up the enrichment or to do something stupid that could become a pretext for the more severe UN sanctions.
There is absolutely nothing Bush could gain from such attack and this is not something that only the liberals are saying. But even the most radical but realistic anti-Iranian policy makers in Israel, such as Avigdor Liberman, or in Washington, such as Patrick Clawson, acknowledge the fact that military attack is neither going to stop Iran from its nuclear programme, nor will it weaken or destabilise the government in any way.
And then it’s also the Iranian response that could actually destabilise the markets everywhere leading to a serious energy crisis that could anger the EU, China and India and widen the split between the U.S. and the rest of the industrial world.
Knowing all this, Iran has carefully been censoring any news about an imminent attack to undo the psy-op and at the same time, all Iranian opposition, even Reza Pahlavi, have repeatedly said they were against military attack and now have no choice other showing some public contempt to save their integrity.
I suspect soon the U.S. would have no choice but to accept a nuclear Iran, the way Israel, according to senior strategist Ephraim Kam, is ready (PDF) to do so.
It is time to let the world know about Ephraim Kam’s report which I am surprised why the Anglosaxon media has never paid enough attention to.
In case you haven’t read it, here is the most important part of it:
Living with a Nuclear-Enabled Iran
The conclusion is threefold:
# The United States, Israel, and other countries must do their utmost to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear capability, since once Iran has nuclear weapons it will be much harder (and militarily impossible) to effect any rollback and disarm it.
# The military move must be included in steps to be considered, both as an option in itself and as a means of increasing pressure on Iran.
# At the same time, these countries will have to prepare for a scenario in which Iran obtains nuclear weapons, all the while maintaining efforts to block this very outcome.
In preparing for this scenario, Israel must:
* Strengthen its deterrent capability towards Iran. Israel currently has limited deterrence against Iran’s recourse to conventional weapons and terrorism, based on its strategic capabilities and its relations with the United States. This capability may ebb if Iran obtains nuclear weapons. Therefore, Israel must use the years until Iran attains nuclear capability and take additional steps to bolster its deterrence against a nuclear attack, including: convincing Iran that a nuclear attack on Israel may fail because of Israel’s anti-missile system; strengthening its deterrent credibility against the Iranian regime, and convincing Iran that should Israel be attacked with nuclear weapons, it would retain a response capability that would exact a heavy price from Iran.
* Strengthen strategic cooperation with the United States against Iran. Israel’s aim is that the US administration will make it clear to Iran that any Iranian nuclear attack on Israel or its other allies will be viewed as an attack on the US itself, which would force it to act without reservation and with its full strategic strength against Iran. Israel will have to reexamine the possibility of bolstering its deterrent capability by entering into a defense treaty with the United States and/or joining NATO at the appropriate time.
* Take steps, in collaboration with the United States and other countries, to limit risks – beyond the threat of a nuclear attack – resulting from Iran obtaining nuclear capability.
* Reexamine its policy of nuclear ambiguity. Israel would be best served by maintaining nuclear ambiguity, but it is possible that conditions will emerge that will force it to relinquish this policy, such as the conduct of the Iranian regime, its need to increase its deterrence and clarify its red lines, or potential channels of communication with Iran on the nuclear issue.
* Consider the possibility of agreeing to the idea of a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, as a means of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear arms or of disarming Iran.
* Examine the possibility of a peace agreement with the Syrian regime, at the right time and with conditions that are acceptable to Israel, in the hope that this leads to limiting Syria’s close ties with Iran and an end to its military support of Hizbollah. If there is a possibility of a peace agreement with Syria, which would entail further warming of Israel’s relations with other Arab countries, the effect of Iran’s militant approach will also be reduced, and there may even be dialogue between Israel and Iran. But even if such dialogue does not develop, it will be hard to assume that under such regional conditions Iran would decide to launch a nuclear attack against Israel.
Can Israel live with a nuclear Iran? Possibly, but it is hard to anticipate this situation. Certain conditions – some of which are not yet extant – may help to soften this reality, and reduce the Iranian threat and the uncertainty that it contains.
* Collecting credible intelligence that Iran is not planning to use its nuclear weaponry against Israel.
* Obtaining a clear American obligation to retaliate against Iran with a nuclear strike should Iran use nuclear weapons against Israel.
* Arriving at an assessment in Israel that is based on clear, credible indicators that Israel’s strategic capability effectively deters Iran from recourse to nuclear weapons.
* Seeing more moderate officials join the circle of decision-makers in Iran.
Finally, if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, this would obligate Israel to try to build up a stable deterrent capability against Iran, which will prevent unintentional deterioration to nuclear confrontation. As yet there are no accepted rules of behavior in a nuclear environment between Israel and Iran, there is no communication and no dialogue, and there is insufficient understanding of the set of considerations and the decision-making processes of the other side. Such uncertainty is liable to increase the risks of miscalculation, overreaction, escalation of crises, and difficulty stopping deterioration in time.
Israel thus has a critical need to try to build channels of direct communication with Iran. Even if indirect, these could allow fostering rules of the game and pursuing confidence building measures in a nuclear environment and help guard against nuclear deterioration. Assuming that Iran is also interested in preventing miscalculations by the US and Israel, which may lead to deterioration and heavy internal damage, the possibility of generating such channels of communication, possibly via European governments, is not unreasonable.