Israel prods US to launch pre-emptive attack against Iran
Once again the sabers are rattling and the dogs of war are howling. Israeli deputy prime minister Dan Meridor is calling on the United States to attack Iran in order to dismantle its nuclear capability.
Earlier this year, the Institute for Science and International Security issued a report stating that Iran has enough uranium to construct at least five nuclear weapons if it continued the refining process of its low-enriched uranium. Low-enriched uranium, which is used in commercial power reactors, is also a precursor to the fissile materials used in nuclear weapons.
Despite the report, Iran has maintained that its nuclear endeavors are peaceful and only for the purpose of generating electricity. Israeli government officials disagree.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed his deputy.
"You have to place that red line before them now, before it's too late," Netanyahu said in an interview with "Meet the Press."
President Obama has rejected the Israeli prime minister's call to take action against Iran. This has caused a serious division between the two normally friendly nations.
In the wake of the backlash from Muslims surrounding the defamatory YouTube video circulating, any talk of attacking Iran, a sovereign Islamic Republic, could possibly put an even greater strain on U.S. relations with other Muslim countries.
Right now, anti-American sentiments are running high in many Muslim countries. Protests have broken out in parts of the Middle East that have led to several deaths, including the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens on Tuesday, when an angry mob attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The Obama administration is now faced with yet another foreign policy hurdle to cross. How will the administration handle this current crisis? It now appears that diplomacy has failed to deter Iran form continuing its nuclear program even as Israel sits seemingly poised with its finger on the trigger; possibly ready to launch its own strike against Iran. Rumors have already been swirling that Israeli Special Operations teams have been active in sabotaging several of Iran's nuclear facilities.
According to Israeli intelligence, Iran is reportedly mere months from fielding a nuclear device - a chilling prospect for Netanyahu and his administration. So what would a viable solution be since it is obvious that Iran is not going to voluntarily dismantle its nuclear program?
This also brings up the questions of what Iran will do if it develops nuclear weapons? Will they hold them as a balance of power against the already suspected, nuclear-armed Israel? Or will they use them in an attempt to erase the tiny country from the map?
There is little doubt that the U.S. could cripple and likely destroy Iran's nuclear infrastructure completely. But at what cost? A direct attack against Iran would spell the beginning of another major conflict in the region. Would the U.S. be willing to engage in yet another major, possibly prolonged and costly conflict in the Middle East? How would an attack by the U.S. against Iran be perceived by the rest of the Muslim world?
After all, Iran is in fact a sovereign nation. Does it have the right to seek the use of nuclear technology, up to and including the development of a weapon? Would the U.S. be looked at as a bully or would such actions confirm to the Muslim world at large, their suspicions that America is truly conducting a war against Islam?
Then again, if the U.S. does nothing and Israel decides to attack on its own, where will that put the U.S.? Obviously any attack on Iran by Israel is going to solicit swift retribution in the form of terrorist attacks as well as retaliation from Iran. Where would America stand?
It appears that the U.S. is now engaged in a tedious balancing act. With tensions mounting and Iran allegedly drawing closer to developing a nuclear weapon, the chances of reaching a peaceful resolution to this problem are becoming more slim.