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Posted by wmmbb in Middle East, Peace.
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Conventional wisdom has it that the remorseless drums of war are beating because of the prospect of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, and then joining that other exceptional country and actually using them.

Mark H. Gaffney at Foreign Policy Journal goes against conventional understanding. He suggests:

The real issue is the fact that Iran has upgraded its medium range conventionally-armed missiles with GPS technology, making its missiles much more accurate. This means Iran can now target Israel’s own nuclear, bio and chemical weapons stockpiles, located inside Israel, as well as the Dimona nuclear reactor.

In short, Iran has achieved a conventional deterrent to Israel. Therefore, statements by Iranian officials that Iran has no nuclear weapons program are in my view probably correct. Presently, Iran does not need nukes to deter Israel. It can do so with its GPS-guided medium range missiles. The Israelis are no doubt gnashing their teeth over this, because they now find themselves threatened by their own WMD stockpiles, and by their own nuclear reactors, especially Dimona, all of which have become targets.

A few direct hits by Iran could cause a toxic plume, killing thousands of Israelis. A worst case might signal the end of the Jewish state.

This must be the first instance when nuclear weapons posed an existential threat to the nation that possessed them. By this reasoning the purpose of a war against Iran would be take out its medium range missiles.

So what might the implications be:

  • The sanctions and the counter pressure on the Straits of Hormuz are designed to create an international incident that “the world’s cop” can interpret as a breach of international law, although presumably Iran has no interest in closing the supply of oil to Korea, Japan or other customers who wish to buy it.
  • Given this presumption that nuclear weapons are vulnerable to attack by conventional weapons, Iran might well be believed in its’s claim it has no desire to develop them.
  • It must be concluded that Israel’s  nuclear weapons represent an existential threat to the state of Israel, given Iran’s conventional military capacity.
  • Any war, and the inevitable mass murder that ensued, would be engaged by the United States to protect Israel’s nuclear weapons.
  • Peace is possible. Both Iran and Israel might be parties to a Middle East nuclear disarmament zone. A fair and viable state should be established for the Palestinians, including mutual recognition of the rights of minorities, after which Israel could then have peace treaties with all it’s neighbours with underlying economic agreements.

Gideon Levy in this discussion with Riz Khan on Al Jazeera, occasioned by yet another fake peace summit photo opportunity was pessimistic about the possibility of peace. Maybe, contrary to everything they believe, namely the efficacy of violence and domination,will baulk at the situation and real change will be implemented by the political underlings. This discussion took place in late August 2010:


John Iacovelli on his blog Scribillare comments on the Iranian missiles and Mark Gaffney’s article.

The Israeli inspired US organized sanctions against Iran – an act of war – are damaging the Iranian economy, and so increasing the prospect for war, not peace.



1. Vision News Reporter - January 11, 2012

It is the case, well written article.

wmmbb - January 11, 2012

Thanks for commenting VNR.

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