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Friday, July 27, 2007

Glick calls for action

Caroline Glick says that Israel is running out of time to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and says that it must act militarily. She says that Iran has built up four circles of allies, while the 'moderate' coalition on which Israel has been relying has not materialized.
Russia is Iran's ally. Russia supplied Hizbullah and Syria with arms and intelligence during last summer's war. In the intervening year, Russia has sold advanced weapons systems to both Iran and Syria. Last weekend's report in the Arab media regarding Iranian financing of Syrian purchases of Russian jet fighters, tanks and missiles is part of this overall picture.

Israeli analysts scoffed at the report, noting that the billion dollars Ahmadinejad pledged is insufficient to purchase the weapons he outlined. But those weapons will not all be going to Syria. Last April Iran and Syria signed an agreement essentially merging their militaries. Iran's Defense Minister Mustafa Muhammad Najjar told reporters in Damascus, "We consider the capability of the Syrian defensive forces as our own." He added that Iran "offers all of its defense capabilities to Syria."

While Russia is selling the weapons to Syria, a Russian military official said of the aircraft, "The Syrians will be getting the top line of Russian aircraft through financing by Iran and [will] share some or most of the platforms with the Iranian air force." Jane's Defense Monthly reported that at least 10 of the artillery-missile systems will also be transferred to Iran.

Russia also acts as Teheran's diplomatic shill. During a summit in Teheran last month Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, "We do not see any kind of threat from Iran." In a subsequent visit to Israel, Lavrov insisted that Russia's arms sales pose no threat to the Jewish state, and anyway, the only way for Israel to ensure its security is to surrender the Golan Heights to Syria.

But the Olmert government refuses to acknowledge that Russia has reinstated its Cold War hostility towards Israel. It vapidly praises President Vladimir Putin for his "positive role" in the region and continues to adhere to the line that Russia will agree to UN Security Council action against Iran.

Then there is France. Last summer France displayed open hostility towards Israel in its representation of the Lebanese government in which Hizbullah was then a member at the UN ceasefire talks. On the other hand, in 2005 France joined forces with the US to expel the Syrian military from Lebanon after the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Israel hoped that with Nicholas Sarkozy's victory in the presidential race, France would take a more pro-Israel stance. Unfortunately, the opposite occurred. Sarkozy has warmed French ties with the Iranian-Syrian-Hizbullah axis. Sarkozy legitimized all three when he invited Hizbullah representatives to participate in talks he held with Lebanese factions outside of Paris this month.

Additionally, early this month France led 10 EU member states in meddling in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The foreign ministers of these largely Mediterranean EU member states sent a letter to Quartet envoy Tony Blair, demanding, among other things, that Israel agree to the deployment of international forces in Judea and Samaria, and that Hamas be invited to participate in an international conference on the issue.

As France treats with Iran on Lebanon, the US follows a similar course of engaging the mullah on Iraq. After his meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad this week, US Ambassador Ryan Crocker announced the formation of a joint US-Iranian security committee which will discuss Sunni terrorism in Iraq.

Apparently in the interest of advancing America's "security cooperation" with Iran, the State Department refused to raise the issue of the five American citizens being held hostage in Iran at the meeting. And with the prospect of diplomatic "progress" with Iran on Iraq in the air, the US certainly doesn't want to rock the boat by pursuing the issue of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Indeed, Iran's carrot and stick approach to powers like the US and France form a fourth circle of ties. Iran has worked to neutralize threats from these countries by attacking their interests in other spheres: Lebanon, in the case of France, and Iraq, in the case of the US. Given both countries enthusiasm for "engagement," it seems that the mullahs have hit on the right approach.


Back in Israel, this week Olmert made clear that he wishes to advance contacts with the Palestinians towards an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. His advisors told reporters that Olmert is moved by his desire to get beyond his failure in last year's war and the criminal investigations into his shady business dealings. He wishes to be perceived as a statesman.

Of course if Olmert truly wishes to be seen as a statesman, then he shouldn't be concerning himself with Israeli withdrawals that will only strengthen Iran. He should change his strategic focus to Iran which threatens to wipe Israel off the map.

Despite his government's protestations to the contrary, there is no coalition of moderates to work with against Iran. There is no coalition at all. And time is not in Israel's favor.
Caroline's analysis is thorough as usual. But I don't see the need to push the panic button yet. Eventually, either Israel or the US will have to deal with Iran militarily. I'd rather wait a bit longer and let it be the US. But she's right - time is running out.

Read it all.


At 5:34 PM, Blogger Rita Loca said...

Russia has also sold subs to Venezuela which of course, is aligning itself with Iran.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Osaid Rasheed said...

Interesting Analysis !

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Mr. Nissan said...

I love blog and how you voiced your opinion not someone else's


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