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MIDDLE EAST: Threatened Israeli strike on Iran would lead to regional war, report says

Picture 37The ultimate nightmare scenario could soon become a reality:

Israeli strike aircraft cross into Iranian airspace and hit the nuclear facilities at Natanz, Esfahan and Qom, as well as the laboratories of the University of Tehran, killing one of Iran's leading nuclear scientists along with dozens of researchers and a janitor. 

Iran retaliates by hitting Tel Aviv with long-range missiles and fanning the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, engulfing the Middle East in a protracted regional war and triggering a global economic crisis over oil prices.

This terrifying outcome is increasingly likely if Israel carries out a reportedly impending military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to a new study by the Oxford Research Group, a leading security think tank.

The paper, titled "Military Action Against Iran: Impact and Effects," was released Thursday following ominous statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Fox News channel in which he called Iran "the ultimate terrorist threat today."

"We should not allow irrational regimes like Iran to have nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said.

Although Netanyahu declined to outline a specific plan of action or a deadline, he reiterated his country's willingness to use force to stop Tehran from developing its nuclear capabilities, which Iran insists are for peaceful purposes.

"There's only been one time that Iran actually stopped the [nuclear] program, and that was when it feared U.S. military action," the prime minister said. 

Watch the interview here.

But according to the paper released Thursday, the consequences of such a military action against Iran "are so serious that they should not be encouraged in any shape or form.”

The report predicts such an attack would have the exact opposite of the desired effect by uniting Iranians against a common enemy, thus bolstering Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hard-line regime, which would retaliate against Israeli and U.S. interests in the region.

The report points to Israel's recently improved strike capabilities and the bellicose rhetoric of its politicians and concludes that the Jewish state is preparing to take out not only known Iranian nuclear facilities but also factories, research centers, and university laboratories with the intention of destroying Iran's technical capabilities and killing its leading technocrats.

Iran would likely respond by attacking Israel directly, withdrawing from negotiations over its nuclear program, supporting insurgent activity against Western interests in Iraq and Afghanistan, and facilitating attacks against Western oil facilities in the Persian gulf.

“There would be many civilian casualties, both directly among people working on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, but also their families as their living quarters were hit, and secretaries, cleaners, labourers and other staff in factories, research stations and university departments,” says the report, which was authored by Paul Rogers of the University of Bradford.

“An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would almost certainly be the beginning of a long-term process of regular Israeli airstrikes to further prevent the development of nuclear weapons and medium-range missiles," it continues. "Iranian responses would also be long-term, ushering in a lengthy war with global as well as regional implications."

Meris Lutz in Beirut

Screenshot: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he tells Fox News that Iran is the "ultimate terrorist threat" in a televised interview. Credit: Meris Lutz

Comments () | Archives (32)

I think this article underestimate the potential toll of Israeli deaths as well, Iran has the capacity to retaliate very hard delivering waves after waves of hundreds of missiles in swift attacks, it doesn't purchase the missiles from other countries, Iran manufacture the missiles and they have been mass producing long range missiles like there is no tomorrow. Gods knows how many thousands long range missiles they have. I think Israel underestimates the capacity of Iran to retaliate and to destroy their key military facilities and infrastructure, Israel should kiss good bye to that nuclear reactor they claim doesn't work anymore. I hope Israel is not bragging and they do have nuclear warheads because the Iranians will figure it out very soon and they DO have very potent chemical and biological warheads. Iran also have very good anti radar nano-coatings and those long range ballistic missiles are painted with that stuff, once blasted it is very difficult to stop a missile like the ones produced by Iran.

Actually, Kupe, we're driven by the rights of Jewish autonomy on a land the size of Rhode Island within a region of Sharia law practicing dictators and Presidents-for-Life greater than the size of the United States.

What's really sad is that after 62 years, you still can't figure this out. I guess that's why Jew haters aren't really considered intelligent.

First: its all talk Israel doesn't have the guts to do it they only attack armless people and woman and children. second:. I A sure you with a move like this would be the end Israel as you know it. under line my prediction.

WWII was a horrible world crisis, but it prevented an unthinkable nightmare of human descent. The west did what it had to do later to nullify the USSR, meeting them on battle fields in proxy wars in Asia and staring them down in Europe.
As bad as a prolonged conflict would be in the Middle East and even ripple effects in the beats nuclear conflagration in the near future. The sooner we sort out the players the better.

Zionists and Americans are driven by fear, greed and profit and anything that seemingly threatens their way of life , is considered a "threat" and must be eliminated, colonized or sanctioned.

The "preemptive" strike idea was G.W. Bush's answer to any perceived threat to the U.S., anywhere in the world.

We would have nothing to fear if we quit interfering with the governments of virtually every country in the world.

Netanyahu knows that all he has to do is start the war and then sit back and let the Americans (those silly Americans) finish it. The Israelis know that if it looks like they are in trouble, our military will come to the rescue no matter how much damage it does to our overall standing in the Mideast and the world. Any attack by Israel will be with our blessing and help.
American military commanders are reluctant to draw down our forces in Iraq because they anticipate what will be coming and want a fighting force close at hand.
Open up those deficit checkbooks America in addition to lost lives.

Looming Nuclear War: Who is responsible ! We should ask who provided the nuclear power to Israel/ME. Now world has to suffer from nuclear war because Israel wants to have Nuclear weapon.We will pay for supplying Israel with nuclear weapon.
We cant stop and end of the world coming.How we planned to stop this? It"s impossible in my opinion unless everyone get rid off nuclear weapons and I don"t see that as possibilities.We all pay for our arrogance and its very unfortunate and only matter of time.

Interesting article with unique facts. Iran is already supporting the enemies of the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan. If there is an attack by Israel, Iran will not need to negotiate any longer with anyone about nuclear weapons as they won't have any. The inhabitants of the other arab countries are happy driving their expensive cars, living in mansions with almost slave labor from the Phillipines and elsewhere in Asia. They have it made why would they start a war with the threat of losing the good life the oil billions bring in. The emirates would need to put a hold on building mega hotels and new islands so that the rich of Europe and USA can have a place to play. Another multi national war I doubt it. There is to much to lose for those having the good life. If Iran completes its nuclear weapons program the world would have serious problem.

Oh lordy lordy lordy, why LA times can't follow a same guideline as Jerusalem post does, which is only to write 'feels good to me' articles!

Well, my rowdy children, this is US of A and there are freedom of expression and thoughts, but surely no one is forcing you to hang around LA blog site and constantly whine!

Peace out!

Oxford Group? so what. Israel has been in a regional war for the last 63 years. what's new? Last time Israel took 23 squd missles defended against by American dud anti-missles. Kuwait got overrun. Iran/Iraque War killed millions. NOW Israel has its own Arrow III system that actually works. The USA has also promised to draw the Aegis navel system up to Israeli's coastline cities (Tel Aviv) and coordinating with the XXX Radar system in the Negev. How much of a 'hit' can Iran afford to take politically before the rule of the mullas disintigrates? Why would anyone believe the Iranian Army is any better than the Iraqi army was as demonstrated by 'defending' its hold on Kuwaite? Why would Israel send its aircraft when the USA can send missles to pinpoint targets or better yet use local assassins? The Israeli aircraft may be C-130 loaded with bunker busters to hit the underground production facilities; but they are in remote areas less likely to stir up the emotions of the populace. Too much creditability is being put on this scenario by the use of the word 'Oxford'. Maybe it would be better for a military analyst to rewrite the article of the LA Times which loves to point and wag its critical finger at Israel.

Gonna happen sooner or later. lunatic in iran says he will start it. israel will finish it.

And by the way, to the fools who claim that the LA Times is "massively pro-Israel"..... If they were, they wouldn't be relying on Palestinian "translaters" and "neighborhood guides"-- or, for that matter, Arab "journalists"-- to report the news that Israel is "an Apartheid state" (not true), "a fascist state" (not true), "a war criminal state" (not true), or "a rogue, terror state."

If the Jews really did run the media, SpyGuy, then maybe we'd get some REAL NEWS from the region. Like updates on Gilad Shalit.... or the latest death penalty execution for selling land to Jews.... Instead, we end up with Meris Lutz's view of "the ultimate nightmare scenario....."


"The ultimate nightmare scenario...."

Worldwide Jewry tries to establish a means for self-autonomy in the part of the world which gave birth to its identity. They give up three-fourths of the land to be Jew-free in order to have a small slice of autonomy, and then agree to give up one-half of that one-quarter. And then they get attacked by up to 5 Arab nations 5 times over a 62 year period.

Israeli Olympians are murdered practically on live, international broadcast television, and less than 100 days later, the German government lets the remaining terrorists go via fake hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner.

3 Israeli soldiers are patrolling on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza. Terrorists, who have dug tunnels, kill two soldiers and kidnap the third. The third soldier is then kept in a basement for FOUR YEARS without any neutral, 3rd parties giving a gosh-enough-of-a-darn to play the hardball needed to ensure they can see him and pass along written communication from the soldier's family.

All of these "ultimate nightmare scenarios" but the LA Times Middle East Bureau decides that really the ultimate nightmare comes when Israel defends its right to exist from a psychobabbling lunatic who can only recognize the Holocaust long enough to deny its existence.

Awesome, LA Times. You're totally awesome!

For those who disingenuously claim Iran has "just as much right to have nukes as Israel":

Israel does not DENY the right of Iran to exist & has never threatened to "WIPE IT OFF THE MAP" like the psychotic fascist Ahmadinejad has ALREADY threatened Israel.

Iran's so called long-rang missiles are merely Scud missiles from around the 1930's, and their accuracy is seriously compromised on long distance missions.
I find it interesting that the US and Europe have turned down the deal proposed by Turkey and Brazil, since its terms are almost identical to the one proposed by the Obama administration!

You say "Iran would likely respond by attacking Israel directly, withdrawing from negotiations over its nuclear program, supporting insurgent activity against Western interests in Iraq and Afghanistan, and facilitating attacks against Western oil facilities in the Persian gulf."

But, they already withdrew from negotiations, support insurgent activities in Irak, Afghanistan and western interests by supporting terrorist movements all over the world.
So, what's new ?
Oh, oil facilities ? Maybe, the first impact would be for China ;-)))

Iran says it wants to help Palestinians. Iran knows it will kill lots of Palestinians if it bombs Israel, and the nuclear fall-out will affect other Moslem countries and Iran itself. Iran knows this. Arab countries know this. Israel does not know this?

NIGHTMARE SCENARIO - A truck rolls into Tel Aviv in the middle of the night. The Hezbollah operative gets his 'escape motor-scooter' out of the back before he goes in to set the timer on the device assembled from dozens of smuggled parts from Iran - including the Trigger which he now sets on a crude but lethal NUCLEAR BOMB which will soon vaporize the 'Zionist' capital.

If Israel can have an arsenal of nuclear weapons, why not Iran?

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