Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Yaakov Lappin / Jerusalem Post – 2012-11-01 01:34:27
Israeli Attack on Iran Could Inconvenience US Attack on Iran, Military Warns
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(October 31, 2012) — US officials have been warning Israel off of planned attacks on Iran for months now, and having dissuaded them from attacking before the US presidential election, the US military is now cautioning that an Israeli attack would be really inconvenient to America’s own plans for attack.
That’s because the US forces in the region are reliant on a number of small Persian Gulf states and would need to use bases in those states to launch a possible US attack on Iran. But if Israel strikes first, those nations are liable to withdraw their support.
“They might support a massive war against Iran, but they know they are not going to get that,” one official noted. “They know a limited strike is not worth it, as it will not destroy the program and only make Iran angrier.”
This is in stark contrast to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims yesterday that he reckons an attack on Iran is something all the Arab nations would feel really good about. Israel and the US have been threatening to attack Iran off and on for about 30 years, but the far-right government in Israel seems really keen to actually do so at some point soon, and is expected to talk up a war even more with elections on the horizon.
Barak: Israel Won’t Rely on Allies to Attack Iran
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(October 31, 2012) — Speaking at a conference in London, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak insisted his nation would never rely on “even our closest, most trusted allies” on the question of whether or not to attack Iran.
“We live in a tough neighborhood, one in which there is no mercy for the weak,” Barak added, going on to discuss the possibility of Israel also attacking Syria because of “the warm ties between Hezbollah and Syria.”
Barak’s comments reflect the current government’s repeatedly stated position that it will decide when it wants to attack Iran unilaterally. The comments are likely more about improving Barak’s own election prospects among hawkish voters than anything else.
That’s because having split with the Labor Party, which is now polling as the number two party, Barak’s own Independence Party is struggling to get even a single seat, and he may well wind up outside politics entirely.
Barak: Israel Won’t Outsource Its Security to AnyoneYaakov Lappin / Jerusalem Post
TEL AVIV (October 31, 2012) — Israel will not outsource its vital security interests to anyone, â€œnot even to our closest and most trusted allies,â€ Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in London on Wednesday.
Speaking at the British Israel Communications and Research Center, Barak addressed Iranâ€™s uranium enrichment program: â€œAll options are on the table to prevent Iran from crossing the point of no return. We expect all those who say it to mean it; we mean it.â€
The defense minister signaled that Jerusalem would not rely on US assurances to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state.
â€œThe State of Israel was founded precisely so that our fate would remain in our own hands. When it comes to the very future of Israel, and its vital security interests, we cannot… and will not outsource the responsibility for making the decision. Not even to our closest and most trusted allies,â€ he said.
â€œWe live in a tough neighborhood, one in which there is no mercy for the weak and no second chance for those who cannot defend themselves — â€˜a villa in the jungle,â€™ as I once put it. In such a place, it is imperative to remain strong, open-eyed, with both feet on the ground,â€ Barak said. â€œWe always say that a pessimist in the Middle East is merely an optimist with experience,â€ he added.
Turning his sights to Syria, Barak noted that over 30,000 Syrians have been killed in that countryâ€™s civil war, adding that â€œIran and Hezbollah are the only allies Assad has left. They will suffer a major blow with his inevitable downfall. We can only hope that it wonâ€™t end up in total chaos, and another hotbed of terror on our borders.â€
Israel will take military action should it identify an attempt to transfer Syrian chemical weapons to terrorists, the defense minister warned.
â€œTaking into account the warm ties between Hezbollah and Syria, I have instructed the IDF to closely monitor the possible transfer of advanced weapons systems and Assadâ€™s chemical arsenal into Lebanon. We will take any necessary action to prevent this,â€ he said during the speech.
Barak also touched on changes in Egypt, noting that the country has â€œentered a new era. The Muslim Brotherhood regime provides a tailwind for Hamas in Gaza and extremists in Jordan.â€
At the same time, Barak said, â€œThe peace treaty with Egypt remains a strategic asset for both countries and we expect the new government to respect it, as well as all their other international obligations, for the sake of peace and stability for the entire region.â€
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