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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Much ado about Iran

Counter I'm copying here various news articles from the Times of Israel, to give an idea of how the Iranian threat, and the appropriate response to it, are perceived in Israel and the USA: http://israeli-defense-officials-iran-won't-hit-back-at-us-targets-if-israeli-attacks
Tehran is not interested in raising the stakes in its standoff with Israel and would not strike US targets if Israel were to attack its nuclear program, Channel 10 news reported Wednesday, quoting unnamed senior Israeli defense officials. Contrary to previous assessments that Iran would turn an Israeli attack into an all-out regional war — involving the US and its Middle Eastern allies — current wisdom holds that it would avoid drawing the US into battle and settle for retaliating solely against Israel, the report quoted the officials as saying.
The US does not want to be “complicit” in an Israeli strike that “probably” would not only fail to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, but could also undo international diplomatic pressure on Tehran, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs General Martin Dempsey said Thursday in London. An attack by Israel would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program,” Dempsey said, adding: ”I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”
The US’s top general – the Guardian reported – said that he could not presume to know Iran’s ultimate intentions in pursuing a nuclear program, as intelligence was inconclusive on that score.
It was clear, however, he maintained, that mounting pressure from the American-led “international coalition…could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely.” Last week, Dempsey said that Israel and the US did not see eye to eye on the Iranian nuclear threat, admitting that Washington and Jerusalem were on “different clocks” regarding Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. He noted, however, that he understood Israel’s urgency in calling for action against Iran’s nuclear program. “They are living with an existential concern that we are not living with,” he acknowledged, according to AFP.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered a sharp rebuttal to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday, after Khamenei delivered a speech denouncing Israel, the UN and the US at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran. “I strongly reject any threat by any [UN] member state to destroy another, or outrageous comments to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust,” Ban said. “Claiming another UN member state does not have the right to exist or describe it in racist terms is not only utterly wrong but undermines the very principles we have all promised to uphold,” the UN chief added. Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters in Iran, accused Israel of being made up of “bloodthirsty wolves,” a day after Ban asked the cleric to tone down his rhetoric against Israel.

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