Edward Stern
Edward Stern

Bibi, Trump and the Iranians

One of the greatest problem that Israel faces today is an encroachment on its borders both by actual Iranians troops and its Iranian proxy Hezbollah . In this light the attempts by the Prime Minister of Israel to have the United States modify the nuclear agreement with Iran can be understood. A modified agreement would sanction actions outside the original agreement which dealt with limitations on Iranian nuclear arms progress.What the Israeli Prime Minister wants is sanctions which deal with Iranian military meddling in the Middle East. These sanctions are of particular consequence for Israel in Syria and Lebanon would embrace three objectives. Firstly at least in theory they would further stress an Iranian economy in it military efforts. Secondly it would begin some type of American involvement in Syria and Lebanon something the Trump Administration like the previous Obama Administration is almost completely devoid of. Thirdly by placing tough new sanctions on Iran for their military actions in the area the Iranians may be forced to reevaluate their nuclear agreement. If only from domestic political pressures the Iranians may as a result of the devaluing or ending of the agreement begin to question the agreement itself and for that matter the value of any agreement with any American government. The pulling out of the nuclear agreement on the part of Iran may be for the government of Israel the ultimate perceived benefits of the sanctions.

There is a line of thought in Israel that a diplomatic solution with a militarily and politically aggressive Iran and it’s heavily armed proxy Hezbollah is all but an impossibility. The more realistic option or outcome of the situation surrounding Israel’s northern front is war. War for Israel must be of a short nature and preferable in the near future as opposed to the distance future. War for Israel must be short because the devastation of Israel by Hezbollah and or Iran will be considerable. Israel cannot afford a month or two month war. Secondly, in the sense of timing war is preferable while Israel still hold an asymmetrical nuclear balance with Iran.There is also a sense in Israel that given the current commitments of both Iran and Hezbollah in the Middle East this is not the best time for them to engage Israel. Thus from an Israeli standpoint one line of thought is if war must come let it come sooner than later.

Although the majority of the security establishment regards the maintenance of the present agreement with Iran to be critical the current Prime Minister disagrees. It would seem he understands that it is unlikely United will intervene militarily in an open war between Israel and its adversaries .The role of the United States in such a conflict most likely would an arms supplier and mediator.However if the agreement between Iran and the United States on the nuclear issue is broken and Iran begins to pursue the nuclear weapon path, the United States will be thrown back on its old Iranian question; what do with a Iran on the path to nuclear weapons? Here the Israeli Prime Minister may believe that given the current administration in Washington, plus the frustrating lessons of North Korea that the President of the United States may choose war. A war by or with the United States against Iran is the preferable Israeli option.In the long run it appears that Israel will in some way have to deal with the possibility of a nuclear Iran. By pushing for the elimination of the agreement between the United States and Iran it appears the Prime Minister of Israel wishes to deal with Iran now, when it doesn’t have the bomb,and before Syria and Lebanon become even more entangled in Iranian influence





About the Author
Born and educated in the United States Edward Stern has spent most of his adult life in Israel with the exception of five years when he lived and worked in China and Korea. He is an English teacher and sometime editor with a life long interest in politics and history. Some people have told him he is also a good photographer.