Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Peres: We can't attack Iran without the US

Bush denied Israel authorization to strike Iran, as is now publicly known. Bush had good reasons to deny this authorization. Israel refused to attack without that authorization. Israel had good reasons not to try to attack Iran without US permission.

Barack Obama in office is clearly less likely to give such permission than Bush. So when Israel admits that it will not attack Iran without US support, Israel is essentially admitting there will not be an attack on Iran.

And now, here is Shimon Peres:

"We certainly cannot go it alone, without the US, and we definitely can't go against the US. This would be unnecessary," stressed the president.

This has been common sense for years now. I'm glad to see the beginnings of an acknowledgment of reality.

For all of the dishonest claims that the US and Israel have been motivated by a desire to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, the nuclear issue until this point has really just been an exercise in attempting to broaden and internationalize, as much as possible, sanctions the US has been applying on Iran, on behalf of Israel, nearly since the Iranian revolution.

Iran does intend to retain its right to the nuclear fuel cycle the way Brazil and Japan do. But at least in the near term, having enrichment does not, in a practical way, give Iran the ability to build a weapon.

“In the race between an Iranian bomb and bombing Iran, we would win,” said Jeffrey G. Lewis, a nuclear specialist at the New America Foundation, a research group in Washington. “We would cave in the roof before they got a bomb’s worth of material.”

An Iranian enrichment capacity, while it does not give Iran a short term ability to build a weapon does shatter any Israeli expectation of a long term monopoly over nuclear power in the region. It also pressures Egypt and Saudi Arabia, not to build weapons, but to match Iran's capability to create a weapon in theory.

The main problem with an accepted Iranian enrichment capacity, from Israel's point of view, is that it removes a pretext for sanctions, which weakens Israel's most important lever for maintaining economic and technological dominance over its region.

Developments on Iran's nuclear issue have been major setbacks for Israel's strategic position. But not for the reasons Israel and its friends have been saying.

1 comment:

Corbett said...

I think we need to stand by Isreal. They have been one of our greatest allies. They have a enemy that vowes to wipe them out. I would be scared sensless. If I had no one in my corner with a enemy like this. I hope someone will come to there senses and shed some light on the issue.