Three Basic Guarantees Israel Demands from the United States

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mahdi Mohammadi
Expert on Strategic Issues

Israelis’ uproar over attacking Iran which had reached a peak a few weeks ago is now subsiding. On 27 September, the US President Barak Obama will probably meet Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York and the predicted possible trade-offs in that meeting have led the Israelis to conclude that they should remain silent for a while.

Since the new round of Israeli propaganda campaign over the seriousness of an imminent attack on Iran has intensified, one important question has been whether the issue is what it appears to be and are there really people in Tel Aviv or Washington who are giving a serious thought over the time and method of attacking Iran? And is the concept of beginning an armed conflict with Iran actually an operational concept?

The author of this piece has never believed that Iran is approaching a military engagement and no systematic analysis of the available strategic information leads to such a conclusion.

However, this piece is not going to discuss this issue which in its turn is very important, lengthy and detailed. It can be discussed at the next available opportunity to investigate what reasons support the claim that a real military attack cannot be an option on the table and also the fact that what the Zionists are doing now or George W. Bush was doing in his time are not preparing for a real military conflict, but are merely a try to give credibility to a military threat in order to achieve non-military objectives; however, still the principle question is, if actually there is no war under way – as the Zionists also say so – then what has been the objective behind all this uproar?

This question has three major answers.

First of all, Israelis have felt that the Iranian sanctions train may have been completely stopped by the United States and the Europe and these countries may not be interested in going beyond the embargos already placed on Iran's oil industry and Central Bank. Also, there are signs indicating that both blocs have come to the conclusion that there are no more real sanctions to be imposed on Iran and that they should wait and give time to the current embargos in order that they work effectively and produce results. One of the objectives Israel pursues by threatening Iran is to make the sanctions train start to move again so that they can make use of the time before the November election to maximize the pressure of sanctions on Iran.

Second, Tel Aviv is apparently really worried that Washington may have already changed its executive – and not declaratory – policies towards Iran’s nuclear program and accepted the concept of nuclear enrichment in Iran behind the scene. Since Baghdad nuclear negotiations, unfavorable signals from Washington have upset Israel. Now, it has been more than a year that no American official has asserted that nuclear enrichment in Iran is absolutely unacceptable. The idea of nuclear enrichment has also been somehow suggested in P5+1’s plan which was proposed to Iran during Baghdad nuclear talks. It seems that Israelis’ first and foremost objective of launching this huge and widespread psychological operation over starting an imminent attack against Iran has been to bring the nuclear enrichment issue back to the United States’ list of red lines and nullify the possibility of accepting any level of enrichment in Iran by the US, particularly after the November election (in which Obama will probably be re-elected).

The third objective goes even beyond that. Israel’s problem is now the fact that it believes when the United States declares “all the options are on the table,” actually it is not honest is its statement and practically one of the most important options which is the military option has been taken off the table. Perhaps the Israelis also do not support the idea that the US should attack Iran immediately; however, they believe the US government should at least keep that option on the table, since no military threat would be credible without its participation. Why? Because it has been more than two years that the Israeli strategists have reached the conclusion that the Islamic Republic will suspend its nuclear enrichment program only if the price of continuing the program is to enter a war. Thus, if Washington poses a credible military threat to Iran, it will help the efficiency of the sanctions imposed on the country and in case this is combined with the other tools of pressure, at a certain period of time, will prompt Iran to change its strategic calculations. Therefore, currently, Israel’s most important demand from the US is that while clearly and explicitly announcing its red lines towards Iran, the US should emphasize that if Tehran crosses these red lines it will face a military response made not by Israel but by the United States.

Thus, this is the original story:

1. Israel has figured out that the stance of the US is now weakened and it is probable that they will compromise with the Islamic Republic, particularly after the November presidential elections; therefore, they are trying to make Obama and Romney guarantee some demands in order to eliminate the possibility of any such deal.

2. On the other hand, the United States is not willing to grant any of these concessions to Israel, which means that the they are averse to announcing as explicit and definite as before that they will not accept nuclear enrichment in Iran as they already know that the Iranians are not seeking nuclear weapons and meanwhile they will not give up the nuclear enrichment program under any degree of pressure. The Americans are also extremely reluctant to enter the phase of making military threat against Iran, because they believe that Iran's defence capabilities are more credible than their threats and Tehran may respond these threats in an unexpected way which may disturb and destroy the whole election equation in the US and the regional scene in the Middle East.

This is what has happened behind the scene. Good cop and bad cop game is a fail game now and the Israelis cannot repeat it in a periodical way. One should wait and see what will be the next project?

Key Words: Israel's Demands, United States, Military Engagement, Sanctions, Iran, Strategic Calculations,  Mohammadi

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