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Iran and Israel in Cold War
by Amin George Forji
2006-11-17 08:25:54
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There is no smoke without a fire. Since last week, there have been media speculations that Israel is about to surprise Iran, in the nearest possible future, with military strikes on her precious nuclear facilities that have become one of the major attentions of the international community, just in the same way she bombarded Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, intended by Saddam Hussein, at the time, to make atomic weapons.

There are as few days in history as there are dog’s tears that Israel and Iran have been friends, so to speak. Although the relations between the two have been quite unhealthy since modern times, they worsened even more following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the new president of Iran in 2005.

Barely two months in office in October 2005, he referred to Israel as a "disgraceful stain" and forecasted that it will eventually be wiped off the map. He not only questioned the legitimacy of the "so-called" State of Israel, but further dismissed Western claims that there was ever any such thing as the Holocaust as conspiracy theories.

Israel on her part has, like America, branded the Islamic regime with such terminologies as an 'axis of evil', 'a dangerous state' and so on at every given opportunity. Israel holds Iran and Syria responsible for almost everything that goes wrong at home. She has been accused of being the mentor behind extremism in the Middle East, the force of Hezbollah, Hamas and similar movements that threaten the security of Israel, and the source of funding to terrorist organizations.

There have been a number of occasions that Israel has hinted that it may resort to military means to settle scores with her "enemy", but the clearest of such statements hinting at military strikes were made by Ephraim Sneh, the Israeli Deputy Defence Minister in The Jerusalem Post newspaper, "I am not advocating an Israeli pre-emptive military action against Iran and I am aware of its possible repercussions…I consider it a last resort. But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort."

Iran has taken the comments very seriously, vowing to strike back harder should Israel dare attack them, "If Israel takes such a stupid step and attacks, the answer of Iran and its Revolutionary Guard will be rapid, firm and destructive and it will be given in a few seconds," Mohammad Ali Hosseini, the spokesperson of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.

In fact, Iran has, at every blessed moment since it began her nuclear ambition, forecast an Israeli attack and has been preparing for it accordingly; just as much as she is dedicated to becoming a nuclear power.

Coming back to the Israeli unilateral attack on Iraq’s unfinished nuclear reactor 25 years ago, although condemned by the international community, the action was a very timely one, coming at a time when Saddam was very busy at war with Iran. It curtailed the ability of Saddam Hussein to threaten the fragile peace in the ever-boiling Middle East. Although a nuclear power, the ironically simple message that Israel intended passing out was that she will not tolerate any other nuclear power in the Middle East.

Surrounded by states that generally consider the Jewish nation as enemy state number one, Israel has developed one of the most powerful arsenals in the whole world, to become her own policeman. Beyond that, she views herself more as the undeclared policeman of the Middle East.

No one knows for sure Iran’s capabilities. They cannot be destroyed by a single military operation, as was the case with Iraq. One top US official was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying, "We do not have enough information about the Iranian nuclear program to be confident that you could destroy it in a single attack. The worst thing you could do is try and not succeed…This is a much more difficult problem militarily than taking on Saddam Hussein's nuclear program."

So, is an Israeli strike on Iran imminent? And if that happens, will it be in violation of international law? How will Iran respond? I cannot answer these questions for sure, but the one thing I do know is that if Iran is bombed the whole Middle East would explode.

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freerad2006-11-17 07:05:11
I agree that the whole Middle East would explode, but I'm afraid it could be much more, involving the entire world. :-(

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