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Threat of Preemptive Strike By Iran Against Israel

By: Meir Javedanfar


This morning, Haaretz ran a story entitled “Top Iran officials recommend preemptive strike against Israel”.

Among other things the article said:

Senior Tehran officials are recommending a preemptive strike against Israel to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear reactors, a senior Islamic Republic official told foreign diplomats two weeks ago in London”.

The given reason behind this view in Tehran is given as:

The official, Dr. Seyed G. Safavi, said recent threats by Israeli authorities strengthened this position, but that as of yet, a preemptive strike has not been integrated into Iranian policy.”

As mentioned in the article “Livni Worries Tehran”, threats by Tehran strengthen the hand of right wingers in Iran.

However, in my opinion, the biggest reason behind the strategy of calling for a preemptive strike, which I believe is backed by the extreme right in Tehran, is the US, and not Israel.

Currently in Tehran, there is a guessing game going on between the public, about the possibility that that Bush may use the last few weeks of his administration to attack Iran. In fact, Iranians are more worried about an attack from the US, than Israel. They know that Israel would not embark on such an operation, without US approval. And if the US approves such an operation, chances are that it would take part as well.

To some analysts in the West, this may be far fetched. Not to the people of Iran. There is real and genuine concern.

Naturally, the Iranian government would want to allay such fears. One way to do this is to emphasis Iran’s wild card of launching a preemptive strike. Although the mere mention of such a possibility works against Iran’s interests in the media, nevertheless, such messages show how concerned the administration in Tehran is about an attack by the US. Tehran won’t breath a sigh of relief until Obama enters office.

Why threaten Israel?

In this case, Israel is an easier target to pick on, in terms of rhetoric. To threaten US troops directly or US interests would be too costly for Tehran. Israel is one bag which has been punched many times before, in Iran’s array of threats. To the Iranians, one more punch won’t make that much difference.

Posted on : Oct 22 2008
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Posted under Iran- Defense, Uncategorized |