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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Killing Ahmadinejad not in Israel's interest

Here's an interesting take on why assassinating Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may not be in Israel's best interests.
Since his rise to power in 2005, Ahmadinejad has actually served Israel’s interests. His denial of the Holocaust and persistent calls to destroy Israel helped grab the world’s attention to Iran’s covert military nuclear program which culminated this past June with a new round of sanctions.

For this same reason, ahead of last summer’s rigged presidential elections, there were actually some Israeli officials who privately expressed hope that Ahmadinejad would win and not his contender – the reformist candidate Mi-Hossein Mousavi.

While a candidate like Mousavi would likely not change anything in Iran’s race to obtain nuclear power and would continue to build the bomb, his more moderate appearance and rhetoric would assist Iran in laundering the program. As a result, the international community would likely be more reluctant to pass tough sanction and engage Iran in touch diplomacy. Ahmadinejad’s continued tenure helps make sure that the pressure on Iran keeps up.

It is also not sure that someone like Mousavi would succeed Ahmadinejad. Israel learned the hard way in 1992 that assassinating leaders of terrorist organizations is not always beneficial and the same could apply to Iran. In February of that year, Israel assassinated Abbas al-Musawi, the leader of Hizbullah.

His replacement was Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who Israeli intelligence analysts readily admit is far more conniving and treacherous than his predecessor and has built Hizbullah up to what it is today – almost half of the Lebanese government and a formidable military force to reckon with.
This analysis ought to also give pause to those who believe that anything will change in Iran if the green movement were to win power. I've corresponded with Iranian bloggers and pundits and when you ask them what would happen to the nuclear program if Moussavi were to take power or whether Iran would still continue to oppose Israel, most of them try to change the subject.

I'm not saying that there are not advantages to be gained from regime change in Iran. There are. In fact, there are clearly advantages to be gained from calling for regime change in Iran. But I'm not convinced that Moussavi will change anything regarding the nuclear program, and I wouldn't make putting him in power the focus, nor expend human or political capital on that goal.


At 3:10 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Mousavi was the co-creator of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as architect of mass murders in 1988 of Iranians. He is utterly untrustworthy as far as the young Iranians are concerned and will no doubt continue the nuclear programme. He is an opportunist who is clever enough to know he has not been tainted by involvement in the post-June elections of 2009.

Just as lethal as AN.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Juniper in the Desert, in a recent interview Mousavi actually denied any role and said that he was not consulted on many of the key foreign policy issues of the time. this letter (http://enghelabe-eslami.com/%D8%A2%D8%AE%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1/1933-------------67---.html) recently leaked by one of the officials (now in exile) appears to back up Mousavi's claim.

Having said that, Mousavi has mentioned on numerous occasions that he is the follower of Khomeini (the mass murderer). As to whyhe keeps attaching himself to Khomeini, it could well be because of the political environment in Iran but I do not know for sure.


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