Tehran's Last Chance: Israel, Iran and the Battle for the Bomb

Part 5: The Master of War and Peace

Photo Gallery: The Approaching War? Photos
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Can a regime like the one in Tehran be brought to its senses with bombs, as many of the hawks in the West believe? And will the population resist its own leadership?

It is indisputable that the Pasdaran, the regime's most important pillar, will pay a high price. The current sanctions are already aimed primarily at the Revolutionary Guards. International travel bans have been imposed on their leaders, the trade embargo is directed against their businesses, in particular, and the oil embargo has drastically reduced their revenues from the oil business. In the event of a military strike, most of the victims would come from their ranks, because Pasdaran troops protect the nuclear facilities that would be targeted.

Upon closer inspection, however, the Pasdaran officers benefit from any escalation. Each additional tightening of the sanctions leads to a booming black market and boosts smuggling activities, thereby strengthening the shadow economy -- which some Pasdaran leaders control even more than legal commerce.

Even high casualties would probably not convince the loyal servants of the regime to give in. In fact, the opposite is more likely. They would declare each of their dead to be a martyr. And with each martyr that the organization can boast, its standing within the population will only increase.

The president would probably also benefit from a military attack. Granted, he would be the clear loser in the internal conflict among the various power centers, because he has previously claimed that the West would accept Iran's uranium enrichment. Each round of sanctions by the UN Security Council was a bitter blow to the president. An attack would be tantamount to a political disaster. But Ahmadinejad's rivals, including parliamentary speaker Larijani and, most of all, Revolutionary Leader Khamenei, were also skeptical of the international community's resolve not to back down.

Not Seeking Armed Conflict

An attack would silence all criticism, and the fight against Israel and its allies would force the entire population to close ranks. The Green Movement would hardly dare to object, and even the turf wars between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad would be forgotten.

With the first Israeli bomb, the revolutionary leader would rise up from the depths of everyday political life into which the president has pulled him. Suddenly he would become the master of war and peace.

And then Khamenei would undoubtedly have an excuse to instruct his experts to build the nuclear bomb.

Nevertheless, those who know Khamenei and his closest advisers well believe that the revolutionary leader does not seek armed conflict, notwithstanding all the belligerent rhetoric. There is talk in Tehran that Khamenei is placing his bets on the period after Ahmadinejad's term as president ends, at which point a president acceptable to Khamenei will clean up the mess left behind by the zealots.

Experts also believe that a resolution of the nuclear conflict could be possible with a future president who enjoys the confidence of the revolutionary leader. If the international community were to recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium, the leadership in Tehran would allegedly be willing to accept "maximum transparency and confidence-building measures." Then all options would indeed be on the table -- in a peaceful sense, that is.

But given the most recent escalations, it is questionable whether Israel will give the leadership in Tehran that much time. This is why the meeting in Washington will be so important. Much will depend on whether Obama and Netanyahu are able to build trust in one another.

'Iron-Clad Guarantee'

Netanyahu sees Obama as a spineless "peacenik" who would shy away from an attack and would ultimately allow Iran to build the atom bomb, just as Pakistan and North Korea have already done. Obama, for his part, sees Netanyahu as a liar and a deceiver who is trying to blackmail him by threatening to launch an attack before the US presidential election in November. In an election year, Obama would have little choice but to support Israel, or at least not to stand in its way.

It is a balancing act for Obama. On the one hand, he wants to intimidate Iran with the credible threat of a military strike. On the other, he wants to dissuade Netanyahu from going it alone.

To do that, however, he would have to provide the Israelis with an "iron-clad guarantee" that he himself will stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon -- as long as he is still in a position to do so, says Amos Jadlin, who was head of Israeli military intelligence until the end of 2010. This means that Obama would have to clearly define the point at which the United States would attack Iran. Will he do that?

Not even former Republican President George W. Bush agreed to support Netanyahu's predecessor when Israel attacked the Syrian reactor in 2007. In fact, he advised Israel against it.

The outcome? Israel destroyed the Syrian nuclear facility a few weeks later.

REPORTED BY DIETER BEDNARZ, ERICH FOLLATH, JULIANE VON MITTELSTAEDT AND HOLGER STARK

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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1. Germanys arming of the Jewish terrorists doesn't help.
TheAZCowBoy 03/05/2012
Shameless German 'Israel's Holocuast rag dolls' continue arming the Jewish parasites with Dolfin class submarines (adding to the Middle East crisis) and are now shipping 'leopard' tanks to the Saudi war criminals (Bahrain) and then claim to support peace in the Middle East? It would be 'poetic justice' if one day Israel fired a nuke at Germany from one of their own (Tax-payer subsidized) Dolfin subs - LOL! :)
2. Arming the Jewish parasites with nuclear capable Dolfin subs: Is Germany sick?
TheAZCowBoy 03/05/2012
Nuff said....
3.
ioanonimus 03/05/2012
“Now, a bombing raid on Iran's nuclear facilities may be just months away.” The nonchalance of these journalists about the phrase above is speechless. If Iranians will posture in the same way as Israel and USA is doing today the same journalists will eat fire to condemn the horrors of war. “So do all signs point to war? Aren't there other ways to convince the Iranian leaders to back down,” Orwell will be proud to have such an example of double speech. USA invades tens of countries in the last 40 years Israel invaded also several countries but these journalists problems is to convince Iranian leaders to back down. Iran never invaded a country in more than 100 years. “Based on this information, the IAEA concludes that it cannot rule out that the Iranian nuclear program has a "military dimension."” The actual IEEA leaders would have concluded that Iraq had nuclear weapons before US-British invasion, such is the quality of the new leadership. “Hardly anyone in Israel questions the liquidation of Iranian scientists, a method that is highly dubious under international law.” The correct pharse should be Hardly anyone in the world questions including these journalists as questioning this means loosing their jobs as the poor English MP which was fired for saying that in the end world would have enough of Israel posturing. This article is a proof of what means journalism now in West and why we are losing in every aspects of our social and economic life. There is no longer an independent press in our countries, the guardians of politics. Only pathetic paid “journalists” like the Spiegel staff which signed this poor article. PS Unfortunatelly all answers in Spiegel forums appears after one or more days after we are writing them.
4.
andre79799 03/10/2012
Why are there no IAEA inspectors ever discussing and/or combing Israel for its secretive nuclear activities? There is absolutely no debate on Israel’s nuclear program. Let there be a nuclear free Middle East. If Iran is not allowed to have them then to be democratic Israel should not have them either.
5. the narratives are being controlled
nevermind 03/16/2012
Zitat von sysopREUTERSIsrael has been doing everything in its power to stop Iran's atomic program, from targeted killings to computer worms. Now, a bombing raid on Iran's nuclear facilities may be just months away. But an Israeli attack could have the effect of strengthening the regime -- and make it more determined than ever to build the bomb. By SPIEGEL Staff. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,819312,00.html
Well spoken, Bibi is in a corner internally with israels large majority being against the war, hence he might have given Obama an ultimatum of sorts, only two days ago this was then transmitted to UK ally Cameron. Iran has now been taken off SWIFT, and it will hopefully disinvest its 4% holdings of Krupp Thyssen, who made the Dolphin class subs and provided a rogue zionist regime with a global ICBM capability. Add to this the globally disappearing narratives, media canivance and control, make you want to build a shrine to Orson Wells, almost. This man speaks up about it and his lecture at the ICD, originally 1hrs. 20 minutes, was mysteriously cut down to just an hour. the mind boggles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUZTiAoaax4
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Graphic: Possible attack routes

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Graphic: Iran's nuclear facilities.



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