Home / Culture and Society / Middle East Tension Escalates as Iran, Israel, and the US Exchange Threats

Middle East Tension Escalates as Iran, Israel, and the US Exchange Threats

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

The president, in his State of the Union address last Tuesday, mentioned rogue Iran’s ongoing nuclear threat to Israel and to the free world. He said the world is unified behind a clear need to stop nuclear proliferation; that the world backs severe sanctions, and that no option is off the table. The president, as do many of the Republican candidates and many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, considers war and a preemptive strike on Iran as absolutely possible. The president went on to say that peace, however, is preferable.

On Thursday, at the 12th annual Herzliya Conference in that Israeli city, Defense Minister Ehud Barak made the point that if economic sanctions don’t halt the Iranian threat, the world is increasingly ready to consider a military strike. The Associated Press and other sources report Israeli officials’ assertions that Iran has produced sufficient enriched uranium to build four rudimentary nuclear bombs, and that Iran is developing missiles capable of reaching the United States.

On Friday, Defense Minister Barak echoed the sentiments of the president, saying, “Today, unlike in the past, there is a broad global understanding that it is crucial to stop Iran becoming nuclearized and that no options should be taken off the table.” He said that to allow Iran to continue on its present course would be dangerous in blood and money.

Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon, head of Israel’s strategic affairs ministry, declared that all of Iran’s nuclear installations were vulnerable to military strikes. This contradicts the view of foreign experts that in fact strikes against Iran would be difficult; many of the most crucial targets in Iran are hidden dozens of yards beneath the ground.

The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded to the sabre rattling during a Friday prayer meeting in Tehran, “You see every now and then in this way they say that all options are on the table. That means even the option of war. This is how they make these threats against us. Well, these kinds of threats are detrimental to the U.S; the war itself will be 10 times as detrimental to the U.S,” Khamenei said.”The Zionist regime is really the cancerous tumor of this region and it needs to be removed and will be removed,” he added.  Khamenei also declared that Iran will support any nation or group that fights against Israel.

The United States has concerns with Israeli urgency, feeling that confrontation could put additional nuclear weapons within the reach of Iran. Moreover, an Israeli strike would produce serious economic consequences, and precipitate catastrophic security issues worldwide. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has conceded concern with Israel’s consideration of surprise attack, “Israel has indicated they’re considering this, and we have indicated our concerns,” Panetta told reporters following a NATO meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

Powered by

About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • Yes, John. It’s a symptom of escalation. He’s one of a few parties who needs to be calmed down…with this different approach.

  • John Lake

    I see it from that point too, Irene, but for Ahmadinejad to have made violent emotional statements concerning Iranian intent toward Israel is irresponsible, and frightening.
    The mere attempt to build the weapons would have sent the intended message.

  • “Trying to look at the situation from an Iranian perspective…” Would that be a pragmatic or non-pragmatic approach? It seems like an eminently sensible way to deal with conflict to me. Would a leader who adopted this approach necessarily be a “foreign policy disaster?”

    I’ve heard people making that claim.

  • Although I consider the current Iranian regime to be very bad in many ways, we should try not to lose our heads over this issue.

    Even if Iran does manage to construct a nuclear weapon, it seems like the number of them would be small, I think it said four above.

    The USA has literally thousands of nuclear weapons and if it came to a serious shooting match could render all of Iran uninhabitable (assuming it had the necessary steely resolve).

    Trying to look at the situation from an Iranian perspective, it is literally surrounded by American military bases, up to 40 I believe; what would any country’s leaders do if their country was surrounded by seemingly hostile forces?

    Given that the Iranians, although clearly anti-democratic, are not totally insane, it is extremely unlikely that they would start a nuclear war that they could only lose.

    The USA and the former USSR were deeply paranoid and mistrustful of each other for decades but never pushed the trigger. Why should we believe that Iran would when it doesn’t even have the “comfort” of knowing that at least it would be a case of mutually assured destruction?

    The cancer at the heart of all these current troubles remains the lack of a resolution of the Palestinian problem and at least half the responsibility for that failure lies with the USA, which has been incapable of supplying leadership on the issue for many decades now.

    This failure has contributed significantly to the many problems with the Muslim world over the years, not least the aircraft hijackings and 9/11. A change of approach is surely indicated…

  • John Lake

    Yours is a unique viewpoint. Most believe that Iran is a world leader of the Muslim, Arab world; that Ahmadinejad feels Iran deserves the same benefits of nuclear energy as the rest of the world, and the same capacity for arms. He maintains his lofty position in the world and with the Iranian people in this way. He maintains control over the mineral wealth in Iran; gas and oil.
    But you believe in your emotional reaction to a pragmatic situation that Iran would rather pass the weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah?
    It will be a desperate situation for Israel, Great Britain, and the free world if Iran and allied Arab nations have access to nuclear warheads and intercontinental Missiles.

  • John

    What world are you living in…? Iran is building nuclear weapons with the clear intent of using them on Israel and possibly other countries as well. Speaking of “puppets” Hezbollah and Hamas have been attacking Israel for years based on what Iran orders them to do. In addition, the Iranians are trying to build missiles that can reach the USA.

    Let’s be realistic for once on these ridiculous posting boards… As unwise and ultra-radical Iran’s leaders are they are cowards who would give a nuclear device to one of their proxy terror organizations listed above rather than use one themselves. This is the primary reason why the world does not want them to ever be a nuclear nation.