Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Israel-Iran tensions reach new levels

The long-term covert war between Israel and Iran is rapidly heating up.

 I expect that in the next couple of months Iran will attempt to deter further pressure (like the looming oil sanctions by the US/EU) with some kind of act against either Israeli or American interests. This could very well take the form of an (as threatened) attack on US Navy assets in the Persian Gulf or through Iran's intelligence services (for example an attack similar to the 2011 Embassy Plot). Iran's (in my opinion flawed) calculation for such action would be the belief that it would impose significant, detrimental economic uncertainty onto western economies and fracture the unity of the international community. Iran would hope that in the aftermath of their action, greater opportunity might exist for a compromise. A compromise that would allow them to continue their development of a nuclear capability and would reduce the economic pressures that they currently face.

 It is important that if aggressive Iranian action occurs, the US response should be credible, proportionate and significant enough to alter the strategic calculus in Tehran towards a more conciliatory position. If the Iranian regime smells blood in the water then they will become increasingly aggressive and a diplomatic solution to current disputes will become increasingly untenable. Regardless, Israel is likely to attack Iran's nuclear facilities at some point over the next 9 months.

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