Reuters includes a frank statement of incitement from an Israeli, toward Iran and us too. (Thanks to Annie Robbins):
“The Iranians are exposing this in order, ultimately, to provide a large degree of rationale and justification, both domestically and abroad, for what they will eventually consider as a reprisal,” said Uzi Rabi, a Middle East expert at Tel Aviv University.
He predicted an “unavoidable showdown,” most likely in the Gulf, where Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, with a possible spillover in the form of Israeli and Western air strikes on Iran.
The bellicose message is echoed in Washington. The NY Times article by Scott Shane, “Adversaries of Iran Said to Be Stepping Up Covert Actions” also includes a message of incitement, from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. And only in the last paragraphs of a long story do Americans actually put themselves in Iranian shoes:
Patrick Clawson, director of the Iran Security Initiative at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “I often get asked when Israel might attack Iran,” Mr. Clawson said. “I say, ‘Two years ago.’ ”
Mr. Clawson said the covert campaign was far preferable to overt airstrikes by Israel or the United States on suspected Iranian nuclear sites. “Sabotage and assassination is the way to go, if you can do it,” he said. “It doesn’t provoke a nationalist reaction in Iran, which could strengthen the regime. And it allows Iran to climb down if it decides the cost of pursuing a nuclear weapon is too high.”…
But would Iran actually climb down from this covert war? Here is the ending of that story:
Gary Sick, a specialist on Iran at Columbia, said he believed that the covert campaign, combined with sanctions, would not persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear work.
“It’s important to turn around and ask how the U.S. would feel if our revenue was being cut off, our scientists were being killed and we were under cyberattack,” Mr. Sick said. “Would we give in, or would we double down? I think we’d fight back, and Iran will, too.”
Do Americans want such a conflagration?
Update. Here’s Jeffrey Goldberg beating the drum, saying there’s slim chance “to avoid all-out war”. All-out war? Why do these folks love military action so much? And the “destruction of Iran’s industrial infrastructure”. Who’s he kidding? We did great at it in Iraq….
The U.S. may one day have to stop Iran’s nuclear program by force. Before it takes such drastic action, it should, once again, attempt to show Iran the possibility of a different future, one in which it is allowed to rejoin the community of nations.
…Obama would have to convince the Iranians that he is offering one final chance at real dialogue — not out of weakness, but because, as a peace-loving person, he doesn’t want to order the destruction of Iran’s military and industrial infrastructure….
The chance for success is slim.