Untitled Document
Taking a Closer Look at the Stories Ignored by the Corporate Media
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact

NEWS
All News
9-11
Corporatism
Disaster in New Orleans
Economics
Environment
Globalization
Government / The Elite
Human Rights
International Affairs
Iraq War
London Bombing
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism
Miscellaneous

COMMENTARY
All Commentaries
9-11
CIA
Corporatism
Economics
Government / The Elite
Imperialism
Iraq War
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism

SEARCH/ARCHIVES
Advanced Search
View the Archives

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS -
-

U.S. examining Israelís military options for Iran

Posted in the database on Sunday, March 19th, 2006 @ 14:54:51 MST (1671 views)
from Aljazeera.com  

Untitled Document
Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr

As the United States is pressing for a UN Security Council action on Iran, the Pentagon is considering the possibility of an Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear installations, according to an article on the Jerusalem Post.

The Pentagon consultations, described as intelligence-oriented and not policy-oriented, examined the possibility of an Israeli pre-emptive strike against Iran and the way under which such an attack could be carried out. One of the main questions raised in the discussions was whether Israel would inform the U.S. ahead of the attack, and when would an advance notice be given. According to diplomatic sources, Israel must coordinate with the U.S. occupation forces in Iraq if it chooses to attack Iran through the shortest route.

Diplomatic sources told the Jerusalem Post that the Pentagon talks didn’t lead to any conclusion regarding the plausibility of an Israeli strike against Iran, nor did they recommend any action by the United States. Israeli and American officials have said in the past weeks that Washington didn’t convey any message to Israel asking it to refrain from such an attack and didn’t even raise the issue in bilateral discussions with the Israelis. Both countries share intelligence on Iran and its nuclear plans, but do not discuss - according to sources who take part in bilateral talks - the possibility of using military force to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The Americans believe, according to administration sources, that an Israeli decision on attacking Iran is not imminent and that it won’t take place before the Israeli elections, scheduled for March 28.

One of the issues Pentagon analysts are concerned with is the impact of an Israeli attack on U.S. forces in the region, and whether military action could force the U.S. to follow up with further strikes to finish the mission. The U.S. is also discussing what could be the possible avenues of retaliation Iran would take against U.S. forces and interests in the region.

Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East, but has campaigned tirelessly for Iran to be hauled before the UN Security Council and face sanctions over its nuclear program. Although Tehran insists that its atomic program is strictly aimed at the peaceful generation of electricity, the International Atomic Energy Agency referred its nuclear dossier to the Security Council, which is expected to start debating the issue as early as next week.

Last week, Israel’s former Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon said that Iran’s nuclear program is a headache for the West and not just Israel, adding that a joint U.S.-NATO-Israeli strike is capable of curbing Tehran‘s nuclear plans. “Israel has the military capability to deal a severe blow to Iran's nuclear installations and set back its nuclear weapons program for several years”, he said, referring to the 1981 Israeli attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor.

Although Ya’alon said that more than one strike would be required to destroy Iran’s nuclear sites, he noted that such an operation could be easier than targeting Palestinian resistance fighters in the occupied territories. “Israel has the ability to disrupt the Iranian air defense system; Israel can strike Iran through a number of ways, not only through aerial attack,” he told his U.S. audience. “The Israeli strike can be precise, like targeted assassination,” he added.

The retired General also said that Israel had several other military options against Iran. He didn’t elaborate but the Israel Navy operates a small number of highly sophisticated submarines.

Several Israeli officials reprimanded Ya’alon for detailing how Israel could attack Iran. However, Acting PM Ehud Olmert later said that “Israel will not tolerate Iran's acquiring nuclear weapons”. And Ami Dror, a former head of research with Israeli intelligence, also said that the threat posed by Iran is so serious that it has to be stopped now. “The Iranians understand that if Israel is hit by any missile, the Iranians will not have enough people to count their dead,” he warned. “It will lead to their destruction and the end of Iran as a civilisation.”

According to diplomatic sources, the Israeli warnings weren’t the trigger for the Pentagon consultations about a possible Israeli attack but acknowledged that the Bush Administration has made Iran’s nuclear issue one of its top priorities. Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that the Administration is considering plans to launch a sustained campaign aimed at initiating regime change in Iran. The newspaper also said that President Bush and his team have been discussing the Iranian issue in closed-door meetings, seeking scholars’ advice on Iran and opening posts abroad dedicated to their efforts against Tehran.

Analysts believe that the debate that raged over Iran’s nuclear program in Bush’s first term between those who favored more diplomacy with Iran and those who pushed for confrontation appears to have settled in favor of the latter. The leading hawks in the Bush Administration have already made it clear that military options should be considered now . John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, has insisted “the Iranian regime must be made aware that if it continues down the path of international isolation, there will be tangible and painful consequences”.

Last week, the U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said that all options are "on the table" regarding Iran and leading senators pointed out that the U.S. is capable of curing Iran’s nuclear program.

And today, President Bush, in his national security report, reaffirmed the strike-first, or pre-emptive policy he first outlined in 2002. The U.S. President also reiterated comments recently made by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Iran poses the greatest challenge facing the U.S., but added that diplomacy to curb its nuclear program must first prevail to avoid confrontation. "If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self-defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur — even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack," Bush wrote.

It is obvious that the “diplomacy” Bush was referring to is UN action over Iran. If sanctions fail, or if Tehran makes it impossible for them to be imposed, the U.S. and Israel will inevitably choose the use of force. This is precisely the kind of rhetoric used by the U.S. neo-conservatives in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.



Go to Original Article >>>

The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Looking Glass News. Click the disclaimer link below for more information.
Email: editor@lookingglassnews.org.

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly




Untitled Document
Disclaimer
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact
Copyright 2005 Looking Glass News.