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ISRAEL: Possible Iran scenarios

The military option against Iran's nuclear program always seems to be discussed in the context of one table or another. On the table, off it or under it, the possibility of a strike lurks in the background, a semi-abstract code for something potentially awesome -- and not in the cool sense of the word.

President Obama told Israeli television in a recent interview (in itself an interesting occurrence) that the possibility of Iran possessing a nuclear weapon was unacceptable and that the issue has been the No. 1 priority in foreign policy of the last 18 months. "We continue to leave the door open for a diplomatic resolution of this challenge, but I assure you that I have not taken options off the table," he told Channel 2. 

Again, the table. So whose table is it?

Israel feels genuinely and directly threatened by Iran's nuclear program but consistently warns that everyone else is too. It maintains that the international community, not Israel, should be spearheading the move to stop the program. It has also indicated that when push comes to shove, it won't rely on anyone else to defend Israel.

Recent polls show most Americans would support an Israeli strike to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. Other figures from a recent Pew Research global attitude survey found strong objection to Iran possessing nuclear weapons and no small numbers willing to consider military action too, although it wasn't stated by whom.

Asked about concerns that Israel might strike Iran on its own, Obama said he thinks the relationship between the U.S. and Israel is sufficiently strong "so that neither of us try to surprise each other, but we try to coordinate on issues of mutual concern and that approach is one I think Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu is committed to," Obama said.

A new report by the Oxford Research Group says the potential for an Israeli military strike has "grown sharply" and estimates that even if carried out solely by Israel, such a strike would be viewed across the Middle East as having been undertaken with the knowledge, approval and assistance of the United States. So the question of who's sitting at the head of the table is irrelevant; crumbs will be falling everywhere.

The course is almost run, say analysts from the Institute for National Security Studies, or INSS, a think tank in Tel Aviv. Typically, the pattern of the West has been diplomatic processes to nowhere. Iran's obvious nuclear progress is now such that the international community is taking a more realistic approach and making stronger statements. Punditry is talking about possible war and some, write experts Emily B. Landau and Ephraim Asculai, are "setting the stage for blaming Israel for pushing the U.S. to take military action."

The Responsibility to Prevent Coalition argues that Iran is everybody's table and that there's more than just the nuclear threat on the menu. Irwin Cotler, Canadian member of parliament and former Canadian justice minister, presented a 200-page report titled "The Danger of a Nuclear, Genocidal and Rights-Violating Iran: the Responsibility to Prevent Petition" last week in Israel. Focusing strictly on the nuclear issue has sanitized other threats, he warns, such as Iran's "genocidal incitement" and "domestic repression." The report has been endorsed by 100 leading jurists, scholars, rights activists and leaders and offers an 18-point 'road map' for dealing with Iran.

Along with the tables come windows, windows of opportunity that open and close. And with the geo-political sands shifting, airspaces also open and close, shuffling the likelihood of different scenarios.

A special report broadcast last week by Channel 2 outlined various strike scenarios accompanied by a nifty graphic feature. For those who don't speak Hebrew, here are the main options, in order of appearance on the clip above and their likeliness:

  • From Israel to Saudi Arabia and then to Iran. 1,600 km, refueling over Saudi Arabia. The only scenario that allows passing through one country’s airspace.
  • From Israel to Jordan and then to Iran. 1,600 km, refueling over Iraq, not far from border with Iran.
    Israel would have to get permission from two countries for use of airspace.
  • From Israel to Jordan, then Saudi Arabia, then to Iran. 2,000 km, refueling over Saudi Arabia near its borders with Iraq and Kuwait. Recent reports that Saudi Arabia granted silent permission for Israel to use its airspace were denied.
  • From Israel to Syria, then to Turkey, then to Iran. 1,800 kms, refueling over southeast Turkey, near its borders with Iraq and Iran. Considering Israel's nose-diving relations with Turkey, use of Turkish airspace is not taken for granted.
  • From Israel to Syria, then to Iraq and on to Iran. 1,500 km, refueling over north Iraq. It's a shortcut but pretty unlikely, said the report.

-- Batsheva Sobelman in Jerusalem

Above: Israeli television Channel 2 special report about possible strike scenarios. Via Youtube.

Comments () | Archives (21)

The people who have caused the USA the most trouble are the Israelis (and their domestic henchmen) -- Who caused the banking crisis: Iran or Israel? Who censors the free press in the USA: Iran or Israel? Who dominates the courts and seeks to take over the US government: Iran or Israel? Who has caused the most damage to the USA from spying: Iran or Israel?

The American people are nuts to support Israel, and arrogant little pimple of a country.

Israel will coerce the USA into attacking Iran with conventional weapons on the basis that if Israel has to do it alone it may well have to use nuclear weapons.
The Jewish lobby is hard at work.

Its interesting that so many people would like to comment here, without knowing a concise history of the USA, let alone of Iran.

I'll prove it.


"The Islamic Republic of Iran has been stirring up trouble for the United States since its inception. "

Your first statement shows how uneducated you are in this subject. Its alctually the USA overthrowing IRAN's elected regime after they nationalized British Oil, placing the SHAH in his place, and starting this whole mess. Iran was not the one after the USA, ever. It has always been USA and Israel going after Iran.

I doubt half of you idiots will read this, but for those of you with a truly "honest" mistake, look up the facts.

The best thing for the US would be to attach Iran. We won't win anything, we will have 3 failed wars, and China will become the superpower. Man, I really wish our forefathers were as smart as some of the citizens and politicians in this country.

Michael Hayden is right that sanctions won't stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, but that doesn't mean United States will bomb them -

Quite literally, until yesterday, I was somewhat critical of Israel and it's actions in the Middle East. After reading an article about the mass migration of Muslims to Europe and their subsequent demands after migrating there, I am now convinced that Israel is the only mitigating factor there is in the Middle East to radical Islamics; Iran included. Radical religions of all kinds are the boils on the skin of modern man.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been stirring up trouble for the United States since its inception. Beginning with hostage taking, progressing into Quds support for mass murderers of American soldiers in Lebanon, and culminating in support for our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan are a harbinger of more sinister acts of war in the future if the Ayatollahs are allowed to detonate a nuclear device. I don't believe for one moment that Israel will allow this to happen, which will inevitably compel our involvement as well. George Bush chose the wrong country to invade, the time tested arch enemy of the Islamic Republic is the United States.

I believe that most Americans who felt the humiliation of the hostage crisis and were outraged at Carter's weak response, would think that the military option is the only option now and in 1979.

Give us a break Batsheva, it is the summer, our kids are at home and everyone is a bit bored. So what does channel 2 do? They beat the war drums to get everyone excitied.

Yes, Iran is an issue, but Israel can't do a thing without Obama's approval and for the record, Iran is a much greater threat to Bahrain then to Israel. The Nuclear option for Iran is the lesson learned from the first Iraq war. Had Saddam nuclear weapons then, no one would have thought of using force to remove Iraqi troops from Kuwait. With nuclear weapons, Iran will have a free hand to act in the Gulf and perhaps also in Turkmenistan. For Iran, it is an insurance policy.

Don't need an IQ of 125 and several degrees to see that. Israel isn't going to fly over Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Jordan without the approval of those countries and the approval of the USA. With US consent, Israel might be able to do much of the job and save the US much effort, but it isn't going to happen unless Obama gives the green light. The real question is when it will become obvious (to the LAT) that Iran threatens USA interests in the Gulf.

First the Cold War and now the Hot War.

Proof that Iran actually does have nuclear weapons is as substantial as the proof that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
Israel, however, does have nuclear weapons with the help of US taxpayer funding.
Israel attacks its neighbours, Iran does not. Israel steals identities of the citizens of other countries and commits murder. Iran is merely "accused" of supporting terrorism. Double standard?
If Israel attacks Iran, the USA and Israel are doomed.

Seriously, most Americans do NOT support an Israeli attack on Iran. The fact that there is propaganda in the form of a "poll" suggesting that we Americans would approve such an attack demonstrates the attempts by AIPAC and other lobbying groups to undermine American interests in favor of Israel's interests. The same people who were screaming a few years back for the US to attack Iraq are now screaming for the US to attack Iran, or to support such an attack by Israel. And the American people, duped once, actually don't want to be pushed again into another war to benefit Israel's interests in the middle east. When members of the US congress realize that they can in fact get reelected without pandering to Israel, American foreign policy will change.

If Israel decides to attack during Ramadan, the future consequences will be disastrous.

Isn't it funny how there are rallies against Iran about a woman in prison yet the world is silent on Saudi Arabia. Liberal, Humanitarian hypocracy.

Citizens of the west need to stop interferring with other countries standards. The Western governments have realised that there last hope to put there views across are African countries now it is time for citizens to realise that.

If I was in the Iranian government I would execute the person just the send a message to the world to stop interferring. You can say there will be protests in Iran but need I remind people who the election protests ended up.

Build their own aircraft carrier or they do have a smal one.

As another commentator remarked, if Israel should decide to attack, then we'd have no business getting involved.

It has never been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iran IS actually constructing a nuclear weapons arsenal. And even if so, Israel's own arsenal has been "overlooked" or at least "condoned" by the U.S. even with Israel's long standing policy of denying it had the nukes in the first place.

Funny how this policy of deception has continued for so long but with no apparent prospect of change(at least in the short run).

Rallies for Iranian woman sentenced to death woman sentenced to death

Rallies are being held around the world to highlight the continued imprisonment of an Iranian woman sentenced to death for adultery.

Yet to see a American agreeing for a war with Iran, these commercial for the war should be played in Israel since American aren't buying it otherwise we wouldn't be a super power way before creation of that nation!

I would think that an attack on Iran would unleash a lot of terror attacks in Western countries by the Iranians, including inside the USA. Of course, the USA is so huge that no amount of terror bombings could seriously physically disrupt it. Without using nukes, the US is simply too large to blow up, with too many workers to kill. Any enemy would need an army of terrorists to even make a dent in the GDP. But Americans will probably panic and mess up their own economy by slowing spending. This despite the fact that you are at far greater risk of death or injury on the highway from drunks, than you will ever be from terrorist's bombs. We let them mess with our head.
At the least, get ready for gasoline rationing, or $10 a gallon gasoline. The Iranians might fire missiles at all the major oil facilities in the Persian Gulf. The USA will then be forced to respond with extensive bombing of Iran, until Iran decided to stop the missiles, or was reduced to rubble and be stopped in that way, like when they fought Saddam.
There is a dangerous power struggle going on inside Iran now between the old and new guard. Hopefully, an attack won't be needed and negotiations will be successful.

I seriously doubt that totally selfish and arrogant Israel and its global supporters have much respect and concern for the USA. So, no more irrational and costly wars for Zionist Israel, unless that is the only way Obama can get reelected--careful of the timing though--wait for late 2011 or early 2012. Hillary can also replace Joseph "I'm a Zionist" Biden on the ticket and an attack on Iran can help her when she runs for the presidency in 2016. I have very little confidence that American leadership will put American national security and interests first. American pressure on Israel in the so-called peace process is a smoke screen for this very attack. The tail will likely wag the dog once again, regardless of the current appearances. That has been the real history of American-Israeli relations since at least 1981.

What are Israel and Iran waiting for?

No one cares about Iran including the Iranians themselves, so really, what are they waiting for!!

Israel Muse

Iran bolsters friendships abroad
By Jonathan Marcus

Diplomatic correspondent, BBC News.

The US and its European allies like to see Iran as an increasingly isolated country; its economy hobbled more and more by economic sanctions and with the pressure growing weekly.

There is no doubt that Iran is to a large extent isolated from key markets and that the sanctions are beginning to act as a significant brake on its economy.

This was already in a bad way due to mismanagement and structural problems.

Iran's inability, for example, to import Western technology for its oil and gas industry is seriously reducing its ability to exploit this vital natural asset over time.

However, as this week's gathering of the Developing 8 (D8) in Nigeria shows, there is isolation and there is isolation.

Strong sympathy

Iran is no North Korea. It maintains strong economic ties with both Russia and China.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is something of a globetrotter, pursuing an active diplomacy in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Balkans.

The D8 gathering brings together a diverse collection of countries, including a number who are significant players in their own regions - Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

All are predominantly Muslim countries or have large Muslim populations.

While principally a trading or economic grouping, politics is never really far away and they are set to give a resounding endorsement of the need for all countries to be able to secure the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy.

This will be taken by Iran as an endorsement of its efforts to master various nuclear technologies. It insists that this is for civil, not military, purposes.

The meeting underlines the fact that many governments - especially in the developing world - still have strong sympathy for Iran's aims.

They view its battle with the United Nations Security Council over the enrichment of uranium in very different terms from those perceived in Washington and European capitals.

Dynamic diplomacy

The meeting highlights the fact too that Iran has a dynamic and active diplomacy of its own; something that is often forgotten with the focus on US coalition-building to back each new round of UN-imposed sanctions.

Mr Ahmadinejad received a warm reception from the D8 delegates At many levels Iran's diplomacy has actually been quite successful.

It recently engaged with two of the key emerging regional powers - Turkey and Brazil. They had intervened to try to find a compromise deal that would enable the fuelling of a research reactor in Iran used to produce medical isotopes.

The US and its supporters would argue that it is wrong to see its differences with Iran as a battle between Tehran and the West.

It is, after all, the demands of the UN - the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Security Council - with which Iran is failing to comply.

But that is not how it is seen in many parts of the world and Mr Ahmadinejad's warm reception among the D8 is evidence that many still have a very different view of Iran and its nuclear struggles.

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

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