Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ian Lustick: Sanctions will not change Iran's behaviour, an attack would cause the failure of Zionism

A conference was organized by opponents of sanctions against Iran that featured Muhammad Sahimi, professor of chemical engineering at the University of California; Ian Lustick, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and Keith Weissman, former deputy director of AIPAC, the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee.
[Sahimi] said an attack on Iran “will only play into the hands of the hardliners,” which is probably true.

Weissman argued that sanctions “hurt American business more than they hurt Iran. And they don’t stop what you intend to stop. They might make you feel good if you’re in Congress.”

Lustick said sanctions “are a placeholder,” an alternative to war that can “constrain American power.” He said he didn’t expect them to “work” in the sense their supporters claimed—implying, I think, that even their supporters, the intelligent ones, were smart enough to see that.

Lustick said he didn’t think Israel would attack Iran. If they did, he said, “it’s going to put the final nail in the coffin of the idea that Israel will ever be accepted in the region. And that means Zionism will fail.”
I agree that an attack on Iran, especially if conducted by Israel, but even if conducted by the United States, has a high chance of resulting in the defeat of Zionism in the medium term of ten to fifteen years.

Lustick's observation struck me in that I have not seen that connection made often in reports about Iran's nuclear program.

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