Israeli experts back Bibi’s bluff
I AM writing with reference to ‘Israeli experts back Bibi's bluff’ by Gareth Porter (April 10).
In this debate about ever imminent but never implemented Israeli pre-emptive strike against Iran, it is never mentioned what Iran wants. Iran is yet to explode an atomic bomb, and yet, its President Ahmadinejad has been threatening to wipe out Israel. Iran’s rhetoric has become increasingly strident since the uprising by the Syrian people against Iran’s client regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Recently, in the Turner Classic Movie (TCM) channel, I saw an Oscar-winning movie Mission to Moscow based on the book by Joseph Davieson, the American ambassador to the Soviet Union before the Second World War (1936-1938). Ambassador Davieson was sent by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with a special mission to find out how Russia was preparing for war if Hitler decided to unleash his blitz in Europe. After completing his mission, he met the Dutch foreign minister on his way back to Washington. When he asked the Dutch foreign minister whether Hitler could be persuaded to keep peace, the minister told him that there would be peace only if Hitler gets what he wants and he wants two things — whole of Europe and whole of the Soviet Union. If he is given these two, there would be peace.
Similarly, the Iranian mullahs want two things — dismantling of Israel, giving all lands to the Palestinians and dispersal of the Jews as it was before Israel was founded. The mullahs think that Israel, which contains Islam’s third holiest shrine of Jerusalem, must be dismantled. Secondly, they want withdrawal of all American forces from the Middle East, allowing Iran to dominate the region, especially Saudi Arabia which contains Islam’s two holiest shrines of Mecca and Medina. Iran considers itself as the guardian of Islam and Saudi Arabia as the usurper. If Iran gets these two things, there will be peace in the region. However, the mullahs realise that they don’t have Hitler’s military clout. So acquisition of nuclear weapons would give them the power needed to intimidate.
After his return to Washington in June 1938, Ambassador Davieson told the press: ‘Russia is single-mindedly preparing for the day when every Russian believes Germany will attack the Soviet Union to give Hitler a bloody nose. And thank God for that.’ However, without even a fraction of Hitler’s military and industrial clout, the Iranian mullahs may be stopped from going nuclear without firing a shot. Iran is entirely dependent on oil revenues to bankroll its expensive nuclear program. If Saudi Arabia, which also feels threatened by a nuclear-armed Iran, can be persuaded to increase its oil production dramatically, it can bring down the oil prices drastically, bankrupting Iran. And Iran will be forced to abandon its nuclear programme for lack of funds. This is a better approach than the sanction against Iranian oil as this is also hurting American consumers by spiking up the oil prices.
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