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What Would Happen if Israel Attacked Iran? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The answer that summarizes everything is that no one can do much more than sit in front of the television screens, and watch the red skies. Naturally, this applies to the Tunisian or Mauritanian citizen, for instance, who is far away from the battle field; however, there are large engagement areas that will be threatened with involvement unwillingly by either of the two warring sides, such as the Gulf, Iraq, Palestine, and perhaps beyond these countries.

However, the first question is: Does Israel actually intend to attack Iran, or is it merely political saber rattling? I think that this time the threats are more serious than at any previous time. I do not exclude that the war might erupt after the end of the time limit given by the United States to the Iranians to reach a political solution for the nuclear problem, a time limit that is said to end by the end of the year.

The Israelis consider that Iran’s possession of a nuclear bomb is an issue of life-and-death, and will fight with everything they have got regardless of the consequences for them or the others. The Israelis believe that Iran might use its nuclear weapons against them; this is contrary to the case with Pakistan, which today possesses a nuclear arsenal of more than 60 nuclear weapons, but Israel has not protested against it.

It is not sufficient merely to know the intentions of Israel, but it is also important to understand the US stance, which increasingly accepts at least a military attack, but not a major war, against Iran after Tehran has got very close – as it is circulating -to having enough fuel to build its own nuclear weapon.

Now, let us go back to the title of the article; what can we do?

If Israel attacks Iran this will mean that Iran will strike right and left: the US ships in the Gulf, the Gulf oil installations, and the US military bases. Naturally Iran will launch a tirade of its missiles against Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, as Saddam Hussein did in the war to liberate Kuwait.

The reason, in my opinion, is that Iran knows that it will not achieve a military victory, because it has neither the offensive nor the defensive capabilities that can protect it from the harm of the US-supported Israeli aggression. However, Iran will resort to inflicting damage in every direction so that it would be able to declare a propaganda victory, the same as Hezbollah did in the summer war against Israel, and Hamas did in the winter war against Israel.

Here, there will be nothing that can be done unless Iran goes further by targeting the Gulf countries in an intensive way through its sleeper terrorist cells, and by targeting the vital centers through missile strikes. A deliberate and continuous action by Iran most probably will compel these countries to join the war.

Some people might think that the Gulf countries are a foregone conclusion as an Iranian target because of the US military bases on their territories, such as Qatar; the US fleets in their harbors, such as in Bahrain; the explicit protection treaties, such as with Kuwait; and over and above all the GCC joint defense agreement among the GCC countries, which means that an attack against any member country will lead to collective war.

The only possibility for the war to remain limited is if Iran restricts itself to replying to Israel, but I rule out this possibility to a great extent.

As for why do we talk today about war, and not peace? This is because we cannot see anything other than the end of the aspired for peaceful solution that preserves for Iran its right to obtain nuclear energy, and protects the region, and not only Israel, from the evil of Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons.