Are we on the brink of an Iran-Israeli conflict?

Are we on the brink of an Iran-Israeli conflict? Israel blew the proverbial news gasket on Monday when Prime Minister Netanyahu held a “show and tell” disclosure of Iran’s duplicity.  According to documentation acquired by Mossad, Iran never had the intention of ceasing nuclear proliferation.  Well that was a surprise! Raise your hands who didn’t see it coming. Iran seems to have been waiting for the right moment to continue clandestine nuclear operations at its underground uranium enrichment facility in Fordow near Qom and its water reactor in Arak.  Detailed maps and schematics revealed that Iran’s immediate capability to resume production of uranium at a moment’s notice is real.  Most of us had already realized that the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), brokered by President Obama and the European Union (EU, was long on Pollyanna naiveté and short on verification and substance.   Why would anyone in their right mind think that the Iranian regime would suddenly morph into a Persian Mother Teresa?  What Kool-Aid was the Obama administration and EU drinking when they developed the JCPOA?

According to a January 2018 Newsweek article by Daniel Schwammenthal; per capita, Iran is the leading executioner of women and children in the world.  A definite resume eye catcher. Even Gulf neighbors like Saudi Arabia are not too enamored of Iran.  They are fully aware of its intentions; control and destabilization of the Gulf region and the Middle East.  Iran is not too shy in making its intentions known either.  While slowly crawling into Syria in support of the Assad regime and its insidious ethnic cleansing; it has also firmly remained the financial institution of choice for Hamas and Hezbollah.  The US and the EU were banking (pardon the pun) on the “moderate” stance of Rouhani and Zarif who at the time were supposedly turning the tide on fundamentalist thinking.  The JCPOA was supposed to stop Iran from developing more nuclear power in the region.  It was also supposed to normalize the region through trade and economic recovery.  However, Syria appeared as a great opportunity that could not be dismissed. Iran made an offer that Assad did not refuse. Syria eagerly accepted Iran’s “help” while the semi-comatose EU and equally mundane Obama Administration held hands in a warm Kumbaya moment.  In the meantime, the EU’s and Obama’s darling; the so called “moderate” Rouhani became Iran’s President. He solidified the alliance with Assad and found a coveted “safe space” in the Middle East. Supporting Assad put Iran right on Israel’s doorstep.  With discreet support  from Russia, Iran found a comfortable unchallenged presence in the region.   Iran has already pumped millions of dollars into the Assad regime, and still continues its financial support to Hamas and Hezbollah; both responsible for terror attacks inside and outside Israel.

But what about the EU? For that matter, where is the EU? The self-righteous EU does not seem to be too concerned about Iran’s intentions in regard to Israel.  Iran has never held back its disdain for the Jewish state, but the EU remained remarkably silent; more concerned with esoteric Palestinian “tragedies” then Israel’s vulnerability to Iran’s nuclear threat and Iran’s backing of Hamas and Hezbollah. The EU plays it safe when it comes to any commitment on Israel because the stakes are high.  The 2015 nuclear agreement opened trade and economic opportunities for the EU.  However, we should not be fooled into believing that several European companies had not circumvented pre-agreement sanctions and still did business with the regime.  Iran, is Germany’s biggest importers of industrial machinery, chemicals, electrical products, and construction material. In 2017, Germany’s exports to Iran totaled approximately 2,358 billion Euros.  The ink was barely dry on the nuclear agreement when VW and Daimler Benz took a trip to Tehran to discuss markets.It is amazing how the EU champions  Palestinian “human rights”, climate change, and immigration; but finds no problem bending to the most terror inflicting regime in the world.

Netanyahu shared the Iran findings with the US, Germany, France, and Russia. As a matter of fact, Netanyahu will meet with Putin in the next few days.  If the situation between Iran and Israel deteriorates, what are we to expect?  Will Israel throw the first punch? We know that the US will back Israel unconditionally and possibly militarily.  We also know that the Europeans will give lip service to appear concerned, then Peace march in the streets probably against Israel.  But what about Russia?  What will the bear do? I presume that Russia will remain coy.  Putin’s dirty paw prints are all over Syria. However, I bet that Russia will try to play hero and come to the “rescue” by brokering some negotiations with Iran.  This will play right into Putin’s political hand. He wants to remain a key player in the Middle East.  Putin’s vision is a new Russia in power but sans Cold War “communist” cliches.  If Putin’s plan is to expand Russia’s power in the Mediterranean; then he must be calculating and not appear to be bullish.  The Mediterranean has always been bastion to NATO and the 6th Fleet. He knows that he must tread carefully and diplomatically; he would not want a repetition of the Crimea debacle.  He wants admiration that boosts his ego and not condemnation. But his motives remain clear: Russia’s resourceful presence in Syria depends on its ability to control Iran’s regime. Putin is the enemy everyone likes to keep close to deter worse enemies from getting closer.  It is also in Russia’s interest not to allow Iran to gain nuclear strength in the region. Iran is well aware that a conflict with Russia would not end well.  Israel might end up with two unlikely bedfellows in her corner against Iran: the US and Russia.  The proverbial Odd Couple. Together they might manage to keep Iran under control, and a ratified JCPOA  pseudo significant. A thought to ponder.

Meanwhile, Israel is waiting patiently for the rest of the world to either keep the current ineffectual agreement, or ratify it by squeezing Iran into the proverbial submission corner.  A significant ratified agreement must include IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspections anytime and anywhere and not the current ridiculous 24- day compliance window. It must also insist on the IAEA supervising the dismantling of Fordow and the water reactor in Arak. Funding for Hamas and Hezbollah must also cease immediately. If the EU had any sense at all, they would not only agree to a JCPOA ratification but welcome it.  Iran is destabilizing the region and sending thousands of refugees toward the shores of Europe. Also, If the Mossad documents are to be believed,(and we have no reason not to), then it is time for the international community to take Iran’s threats toward Israel and the rest of the Middle East seriously.  As the only stable and free democratic country in the region, Israel must be supported; if not for its sake, then for ours.

About the Author
Judith was born in Malta but is also a naturalized American. Former military wife (23 years), married, and currently retired from the financial world as Bank Manager. Spent the last 48 years associated or working for the US forces overseas. Judith has a blog on www.judith60dotcom Judith speaks several languages and is currently learning Hebrew.
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