Monday, November 7, 2011

Iran and Obama's options

With regards to the Israel-Iran nuclear crisis, Obama's options are limited. It is highly improbable that Obama could prevent an Israeli attack simply by demanding to Netanyahu that he not proceed. Israel regards an Iranian nuclear weapon as a precursor to a second holocaust and thus as a situation absolutely irreconcilable with their national security. The importance of this determination outweighs even Israeli attitudes towards maintaining strong relations with the US. Correspondingly, the US is left with a single line of approach: increasing international pressure for sanctions and preparing for the aftermath of an Israeli strike. The US has no interest in directly participating in an Israeli operation but has every interest in preventing any Israeli strike from leading to the outbreak of a regional war (which is as I suggested, unlikely).  Obama's real choices will come after an Israeli strike - ie - what response the US takes if Iran retaliates against US interests. How would Obama confront an Iranian attempt to mine the straits of Hormuz? or an attempted attack on the US Navy? Or on US forces in the region?

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