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Tuesday, April 01, 2014


After nearly five months of little being said about Iran by the Israelis while talks have been underway between the so-called P5+1 and Iran over Iran’s perceived ‘nuclear weapons program’, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put the issue of Iran well and truly back on to the front burner. It has been reported that Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon have ordered the Israeli military to continue preparing for an attack against Iran for ‘sometime this year’. A budget of some $2.89 billion has been allocated to the military for the purpose.

However, as has been pointed out elsewhere, Israel’s latest posturing has come at a bad time with at least one other issue, namely the crisis in the Ukraine and Crimea, taking global political prominence ahead of what Israel thinks is Iran’s supposed ‘nuclear weapons program’.

Since in reality Israel would be unable to unilaterally strike Iran without US help or back up, and since the US will be unlikely to provide such back up while the Ukraine crisis still threatens, Israel’s sabre rattling is far more likely to be just an attempt to bring the matter of Iran back to the world’s attention.

Nonetheless, once the Ukraine and Crimea crisis is resolved – and there’s very little the West can actually do about it anyway apart from threaten a few ineffectual sanctions – then once again the Israeli will be hoping it can lobby support in the US for an attack against Iran.

While it is possible that Israel could risk launching a unilateral pre-emptive strike against Israel in the hope that the US will then feel that it has no choice other than to enjoin Israel in an all-out regime changing attack against Iran, it is unlikely that Netanyahu would order such a strike without knowing for a certainty that Obama will ‘have his back’. 

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