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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Nuclear Iran doesn't necessarily mean nuclear strike

China Confidential reports on Iranian strategy once the regime has gone nuclear, as appears increasingly likely. Tehran won't necessarily need a nuclear strike to create chaos in Israel. Keep in mind as you read this that if Olmert remains in power, it is doubtful that he would use Israel's nuclear capability against anything less than a nuclear strike.
Not to say that Iran necessarily intends to fire nuclear-tipped missiles at Tel Aviv. Tehran's plot to wipe Israel off the map, in the words of Iranian monster-in-chief Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, could involve coordinated Hamas and Hezbollah assaults, augmented by Syrian conventional and chemical attacks and conventional long-range Iranian missile strikes. Use of nuclear weapons could be deemed too risky by Iran, inviting sure-fire retaliatory strikes from the Jewish state, which is assumed to have 200 or more nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them accurately to distant targets.

While direct Iranian nuclear attacks against Israel cannot be ruled out, it is quite possible that Tehran's present nuclear program is aimed (a) at executing an indirect nuclear attack against the Jewish state, perhaps by using Palestinian terrorists to detonate a small nuclear device or so-called radioactive dirty bomb in the heart of the country's main population center, and/or (b) at intimidating and neutralizing Europe through the threat of nuclear war. The French understand this threat; hence, the unusually blunt warnings by French leaders that they will not hesitate to use their nuclear weapons if France is hit by a mega-terror strike.

The Iranians may even be instigating a new round of fighting in the Middle East in order to buy time for further nuclear development, as their standoff with the West is approaching the sanctions stage (though China and Russia will almost certainly prevent the imposition of truly tough sanctions involving possible use of force under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter).

Iran wants nuclear weapons for another reason: to deter the US from attacking and to drive the "Great Satan" out of the region for once and all. Iranian foreign policy is imperialist to the core in that it aims to alter the international status quo and permanently change the power relations among nations.

Iran could also be preparing for possible covert nuclear strikes against the US, as we have noted in the past, using cleverly concealed, nuclear-armed missiles atop seemingly civilian, foreign-flagged cargo ships. The US has no practical defense against an attack of this kind, which could be simultaneously launched against its coastal cities.
These are the people James Baker wants to 'engage.'


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