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According to the latest media reports, the threat of a possible Israeli attack on Iran seems to be impending. Moreover, Israeli leaders have publicly stated that a military action against Iran is being considered as a preventive form of defense in case Iran fails to halt its nuclear program.
Columnist David Ignatius in his opinion column on Washington Post, wrote that Leon Panetta, the U.S. Defense Secretary, thinks there is the possibility of an imminent attack by the Jewish State against the Islamic Republic, nevertheless not specifying what has led him to this conclusion.
To quote Ignatius, “Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June — before Iran enters what Israelis described as a “zone of immunity” to commence building a nuclear bomb.”
At this point, the burning questions are many; Will Israel really attack Iran? What would be Iran’s reaction? What will the Western countries do in case of a real attack – especially the United States? Will the attack cause a chain reaction? Are Iran’s allies and “friends” ready to intervene and take part in a possible conflict? Will this be the triggering event for a third World War? Might it be an atomic war – meaning an actual catastrophe for humanity?
It may sound like a far-fetched theoretical scenario, one that we might experience in the comfort of a cinema armchair or sofa, as the heroes and heroines fight off catastrophe on screen, but in the current state of the world, it could become a reality.
If we look back on history, it almost seems that the creation of the state of Israel did nothing more than cause constant instability and insecurity in the Middle East, involving even far-away countries in the West in its never-ending dispute. The majority of world nations have diplomatic relations with the Jewish State, and for some countries like the United States, this relation is exceptionally strong.
On the other hand, since the Islamic revolution in 1979, relations between Iran and Israel have turned hostile and Iran has instead developed good relations with Israel’s opponents and with so-called “rogue states” and their allies. Therefore, it is not surprising that the possibility of a conflict between Israel and Iran might lead to a world disaster.
The question of Iran’s nuclear program, linked to the possibility of a working Iranian nuclear bomb factory, has arisen again recently and it is considered the “safety factor” that would legitimize an Israeli attack and, potentially, the intervention of the United States and other Western countries on behalf of Israel’s cause. It would be presented as a question of world security, as a threat against the entire humanity which must be be stopped, a danger for the world’s populations – especially those of Israel and Western countries – to be dealt with.
After all, it would not be the first time we hear a rhetoric like this. Other wars of this century were waged with the same or similar purposes, other conflicts were created to follow the logic of the “war on terror” which the U.S. and UK were particularly adamant about. Iraq is the perfect example of this, having been invaded in the ‘belief’ that Saddam had WMD’s which he did not have. Now, with Iran, all I can think is “here we go again.”
There is no certainty of a factory for nuclear bomb, as there is no proof of an Iranian plan to attack Israel or the U.S. at an unspecified time in the future. As far as I remember, the only country that used the atomic bomb against another country’s population in the history of man were the United States – also known as “the democracy exporters” –, and Israel, even if it is widely believed that they have nuclear weapons as well, has never been attacked or invaded for disarmament, and is not considered as a potential threat (by Western countries).
What is difficult to understand is why the world should continue to tolerate the never-ending aggressive attitude of Israel and furthermore, why the state of Israel should believe they have the right to attack Iran on the assumption that “[t]he Iranians are, after all, a nation whose leaders have set themselves a strategic goal of wiping Israel off the map” – as the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told to Ronen Bergman.
Iran is not a democratic and liberal country, that is absolutely true, and surely there is a possibility that it has or plans to gain nuclear weapons but is this not the case of other countries in the world too? Should Israel attack all those countries too, at will? Should other countries attack Israel for the same reasons?
The U.S. and Israel, together with the UK and other Western countries, have so far been the only powers who saw fit for themselves to decide other countries’ future and dominate the Middle East. Nevertheless, the world’s power balance is changing, the financial crisis is getting stronger, and in a potential global war scenario the world society could split up into two new opposing deployments with new big powers rising to prominence with a potential U.S. at one end and a likely China at the other. Has the time come for a new world war?