Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Iranian Nuclear Game Plan

We had no indication that there was any difference between the candidates in the recent Iranian Presidential race on that country's nuclear program, but now that Ahmad I'm-A-Dinner-Jacket has secured the office for another term (which in The Islamic Republic is not the same as winning the election, apparently), dealing with Iranian nuclear ambitions becomes a matter of all the more serious foreign policy planning.

John Bolton in last week's Wall Street Journal thought through various scenarios ("What If Israel Strikes Iran?").

Whatever the outcome of Iran's presidential election tomorrow, negotiations will not soon -- if ever -- put an end to its nuclear threat. And given Iran's determination to achieve deliverable nuclear weapons, speculation about a possible Israeli attack on its nuclear program will not only persist but grow....Consider the most-often mentioned Iranian responses to a possible Israeli strike:

1) Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz. "Iran would be risking U.S. attacks on its land-based military."

2) Iran cuts its o wn oil exports to raise world prices. "An Iranian embargo of its own oil exports would complete the ruin of Iran's domestic economy by depriving the country of hard currency."

3) Iran attacks U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. "[D]oing so would risk direct U.S. retaliation against Iran"

4) Iran increases support for global terrorism. "If Washington uncovered evidence of direct or indirect Iranian terrorist activities in America...even the Obama administration would have to consider direct retaliation inside Iran."

5) Iran launches missile attacks on Israel. This would "provoke an even broader Israeli counterstrike, which at some point might well involve Israel's own nuclear capability."

6) Iran unleashes Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel. This would "argue for simultaneous, pre-emptive attacks on Hezbollah and Hamas in conjunction with a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities."

This seems like a no win situation for Iran, yet the Islamic Republic will proceed with its nuclear program, Israel will eventually destroy it, and then Iran will do little in response, and Arab states will (privately) cheer.

No comments: