Monday, July 2, 2012

Israel "must be wiped off the page of time"

So said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005.  On Sunday, Iran took another step towards picking a fight with Israel when it announced missile tests.  The tests are a response to the European Union's banning imports of Iranian oil by its members (as though the EU doesn't have enough on its mind these days).  

All of this gamesmanship is about preventing Iran from developing a bomb.  The west is convinced that Iran's nuclear power program is merely a cover for developing long range nuclear weapons.  Iran sees the US, Britain, France and most likely Israel as having nuclear weapons yet preventing the Persians from entering the stage.

Israel is believed to have nuclear weapons yet it is not not recognized as a Nuclear Weapons State by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) making it easy for the West to ignore the hypocrisy of claiming Iran is the sole destabilizing force in this situation.  (Note; the NPT also does not recognize North Korea, Pakistan or India as nuclear states yet there is little denying the three possess nuclear weapons).  It puts into a whole different perspective threats by Israel that it will not tolerate Iran's possession of nuclear weapons.

According to Yeganeh Torbati reporting for Reuters, Washington sees the sanctions and talks as a potential way out of the standoff to avert the need for military action, but has not said it would block Israel from attacking Iran.  The US has deployed F-22 fighters to the United Arab Emirates and maintains a huge presence in both Bahrain (the US 5th Fleet) and Qatar (Al Udeid AB). 

The US is concerns about a nuclear Iran is centered more on oil and the Tehran embassy crisis than in reality.  Pakistan and India are two of the most theologically and politically opposed nations in the world now and both possess nuclear weapons.  Thus far, they have avoided any serious confrontation although there has been many incidents of missile testing.  Iran is attempting to enter the nuclear world stage which requires the appropriate level of fanfare.  Yet Israel very likely has possessed nuclear weapons since the mid-1970s without the corresponding nuclear crisis one might expect.

Iran is serving as the latest boogeyman, a role formerly held by the Soviet Union.  However, unlike the Soviets the Iranians don't have the requisite numbers to be of a real threat to the US.  The real concern for the US is a nuclear capable Iran could spell trouble for the regions oil supplies.  Saudi Arabia especially is concerned about facing their ancient foes again armed this time with long range nuclear weapons.

The Syrian crisis is serving only to make matters worse.  Attacking a NATO nation has already resulted in the EU sticking its nose in something that will only make Iran more desperate.  The US tried sanctions against Iran a long time in response to the Tehran Embassy crisis with little result. These sanctions will only make Iran's relations with China and Russia stronger.

The West seems determined to have a conflict in the Middle East, especially with Iran.  If that does happen, I don't see how it does not make Russia and China stronger while the US and Europe use up their military might.


1 comment:

Alte Ziege said...

So are we looking at a Wag-the-Dog scenario, tensions escalated in time for the incumbent to get a bounce at the voting booth?