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Claude Salhani

Claude Salhani

Claude Salhani is the senior editor with Trend News Agency and is a journalist, author and political analyst based in Baku, specializing in the Middle…

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Is War With Iran Imminent?

Iran, it is believed, is on the fast track to develop nuclear weapons which Israel sees as a direct threat to not only its security, but to its very existence. The question is just how real is the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran? 

Would the Islamic Republic deploy nukes against the Jewish state? In spite the rhetoric from its leadership, primarily its president, the possibility of an Iranian strike against Israel is most unlikely. Iran knows the repost will be instantaneous and devastating.

Analysts who know the region well are predicting the possibility of war with Iran before the end of the year. At the same time they are pulling the alarm signal, warning that such a war would be a monumental mistake and detrimental to the national security of the United States.
Indeed, it would be sheer folly to engage in a new conflict at this juncture despite the threats posed to the region and beyond by the Iranians. But here is the sixty-million-dollar question: just how much of a threat does the Islamic Republic really pose?

Since its inception as an Islamic republic, Iran has tried to export its revolution to the rest of the region and had little success until recently. There are logical explanations for both Iran’s failures and its successes.

The big drawback for Iran is the fact that they are not Arabs and trying to sell their revolution to the Arab world. Animosity between the Arabs and Persians goes back several millennia. History in this part of the world is current. In other words while we in the West study history as something of the past, many people in the Middle East regard their past as part of their direct heritage.

In the Shiite community it is not unusual for grown men to weep the deaths of their beloved imams Ali and Hussein.  Imam Ali was the grandson of the Prophet Mohamad. The two imams were killed in the battle of Karbala, in what is modern day Iraq, and gave birth to the Sunni-Shiite schism, which continues to this day. A young resident of Kosovo, a predominantly Muslim country, told me some years ago, “we used to be Christians but now we are Muslim.” When I asked what he meant exactly, he replied, “Seven-hundred and fifty years ago we were Christians…”

So why the hype over Iran’s nuclear program? Because while a strike by the Iranian government is unlikely there remains the distinct possibility that Iran could provide the weapon to a third party. We mentioned earlier that Iran’s success have been limited until recently. True, but now the tides appear to have shifted and Iran is now right on two of Israel’s borders.  They face Israel on its northern border, along the Lebanese frontier through their proxy militia, Hezbollah. And they face Israel along its southern border through its support of Hamas, the Palestinians Islamic Resistance. Tactical nukes could, in theory, be deployed on either front.

From either its northern or southern borders Israeli centers of populations could easily be targeted.  But that’s the theory. It could and it could not be put into practice.

Iran’s other advance into the Arab world comes from its relations with Syria, the only Arab country to have engaged Iran directly. And that success comes about largely as a result of a long string of failed US foreign policy regarding Syria.

Other Arab countries regard Iran as a threat. Iraq, who shares a long border with Iran, looks at their neighbor with great trepidation. Saudi Arabia, one of the largest powers in the Gulf looks at Iran as the major threat to the stability of the region. As does Kuwait and the tiny kingdom of Bahrain, where a large Shiite community lives.

For the moment and while President Barak Obama is in the White House it seems unlikely that the US is going to become involved in a new Middle East conflict. That, at least, is the logic. But when did logic prevail in the Middle East?

In either case, a unilateral attack by Israel or jointly with the U.S. would be equally disastrous for all the parties involved. No one in the Middle East will believe for a nano-second that Israel could make such a decision on its own, at least without the discreet nod from the United States.
The possibility of a unilateral attack by Israel is high. Israel might well decide that it has no option but to take it upon itself to address what it regards as a matter of imminent danger to the survival of the Jewish state. When the future of the very existence of the Jewish people comes into question Israel will act, whether it has the backing of the US or not. The country’s leadership adopts the notion of “damn the torpedoes, full speed a head.”

The best security for Israel – and its allies – is not more violence but a negotiated peace. That and that alone will secure the future of the Jewish state. Not a pre-emptive strike, not a war or two or ten. Peace is the only solution to the Middle East problem.

By Claude Salhani for OilPrice.com - the no.1 source for oil price information

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  • Anonymous on November 22 2010 said:
    Peace is the answer! I say "Make it so".Not so easy now is it?Total destruction of either party is the only answer. Lets just hope its Iran that gets destroyed and not Israel. For the sake of the world. At least that way Israel/USA will be able to continue trying to make democracy work. Unless, of course, they manage to turn it into a 'social' democracy. In which case... I hope Iran wins.
  • Anonymous on March 16 2011 said:
    The fact is Iran is constantly being antagonized by the Rothschild country that is Israel, while the rest of the western world back this behavior.Absolutely everything Iran is being accused of planning, we have already done!.It is clear who the war mongers are here, and this is a war that needs to be ended politically instead of using neutron bombs which will result in the release of Bio Weapons on the western world.Haven't the CIA engineered enough fake enemies without making some genuine ones already ? Or doesn't this fit in with the illuminati prophecy of killing billions ?.Ten to one the Rothschild Estate in Israel miraculously doesn't take a single hit when the missiles are all up in the air, but everywhere else does.It's to late for more BS and lies, the world knows what is really going on, and it knows the players, and for those players: If I where you I wouldn't leave the house, for you have made the biggest enemy on Earth, "Humanity".
  • Anonymous on March 16 2011 said:
    Iran has a habit of causing vast quantities of nonsense to pour forth from the West. especially from 'specialists'...There is a very profound and long term logic to Iran's actions in the ME. Iran will not nuke Israel because it is gradually strangling her with Islamism. Anyhow, despite western paranoia and esp. Israeli paranoia, Iran has no need of nuclear weaponry. She is doing very well with strategic influence and asymmetric activities. Americans who are still in WW2 Liberation of Europe and Cold war mode, only see military invasions and nuking as threats and solutions. They really haven't advanced beyomnd that. Except for Stuxnet, which has been remarkably effective as a computerised targetted WMD. But Iran can still control the Gulf and the ME even with her reactors shut down. The West just hasn'tfigured that out yet. There is a 4,000 year old logic of Iran dominating in the ME.

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