The news that Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Persian Gulf near the Iranian coast should come as no surprise to Middle Eastern affairs watchers.
Over the last few years the threat of war between Israel and Iran has never been far away from being of major concern to the world. When Democrat Obama won the 2008 Presidential election against the war-like Republican John McCain, the immediate threat of war receded though never entirely went away. However, of late, the rhetoric against Iran from both Israel and the US has again grown more intense. Israel’s stance has not changed; it would like to see immediate ‘regime change’ in Iran, preferably by the US bombing Iran into capitulation, but has refused to take the option off the table of itself striking Iran unilaterally if necessary.
Part of the West’s rhetoric against Iran is the accusation that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Despite the fact that no actual evidence exists that supports this claim, the rhetoric, nonetheless, has persisted in the hope that the people of the West will hear the claim so often and persistently that they will come to believe it even without any actual hard evidence. In this way, the West hopes that public opinion will support an attack on Iran even without any evidence of Iran having a nuclear weapons program.
Unfortunately for the warhawks in the US and Israel, Bush’s wars during much of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the fact that those wars continue still, and the lies that were used to start them, have left the American people wary of going to war yet again. For this reason Obama has trodden a careful path with his relations with Iran while Israel has remained far more belligerent. Obama has had no choice but to go down a diplomatic path to ‘disarm’ Iran while keeping the military option, as Israel has, on the table just as Bush did.
This has meant that Israel has had to wait while the US goes through the whole rigmarole of pushing for sanctions through the UN, waiting for Iran to ignore the sanctions, then applying for even more tougher sanctions, and then waiting to see what outcome there will be from that before they can take any military action to ‘disarm’ Iran. This process has frustrated the Israelis who are anxious to finalise their plans for a Greater Israel before the final opportunity to do so is lost with an enforced agreement with Palestinians to create their own state.
This has left Israel with no other alternative but to unilaterally strike Iran themselves. The problem, however, is that they the Israelis could not possibly launch a ‘unilateral’ strike against Iran by air assault from Israel without considerable collusion and assistance, covertly or otherwise, from the US; the logistics of fuel acquisition, ordnance, intelligence, etc., simply do not allow it.
The only chance the Israelis have of beginning their final confrontation with Iran without it looking as though the US is part of the attack is to attack Iran unilaterally from the sea.
Hence the submarines.
But let’s not be fooled by this ruse. If Israel did attack Iran using its cruise missiles, nuclear or otherwise, they would still need to have the US backing them. Whilst ostensibly it may look as though the Israelis have attacked unilaterally, the Israelis will require immediate assistance from the US in helping prevent Iranian retaliation which means massive preparation and, therefore, prior knowledge on Obama’s part. The Israelis and the US may be able to fool some of the world into thinking that an attack against Iran had nothing to do with the US but the reality is that the US will be as much involved with any attack against Iran as Israel would be.