November 07, 2011

Israel-Iran: Important comments on my article


I have received the following comments on my article "If Israel Attacks Iran" from a well-placed and well-informed reader:

It appears that Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain [monarchy], Kuwait, Oman are lobbying for an IDF (Israeli Defence Force) strike. [since they appear to have failed to persuade the US and Europeans to strike against Iran's nuclear program.]

What role Saudi Arabia might play in a strike on Iran, even if they deny their role?

According to several military analysts, Iran lacks the ability to disrupt the port of Hormuz. As a practical matter, how can they do it?

Iran's air defense capability is extremely limited. And their fighter aircraft lack functional avionics and electronics. Iran lacks accurate long range rockets. Their primary ability to strike at Israel is Hezbollah. But would Hezbollah risk a war with most Lebanese to help Khamenei? Both Khamenei and Nasrallah are focusing their limited resources on helping Assad survive. [Assad is apparently using Hezbollah Arab fighters inside Syria against the Syrian resistance.]

Their priority is to help Assad survive. This will be more important to them than retaliating for an Israeli strike [or a joint Israeli, Saudi strike.]

You seem to think the US and Europeans won't support a military strike on Iran. Before the attempted assasination of the Saudi ambassador inside the US, you were 100% right. But the failed assasination has changed things. There is now serious talk about military action in Europe and the US, which the Sunni Arab countries are exploiting with their powerful lobbies.

More than 80% of Sunni Arabs have a negative view of Iran in recent Arab public opinion polls. This is the highest negative rating ever recorded. Much of this is because of the role of IRGC in helping Assad against the Syrian resistance. This increases the odds of a military strike against Iran.

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