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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/21/12

The Missing Option to Defuse Iran Threat

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By Nicola Nasser*

 

To keep "all options on the table" in the U.S. -- Israel plans to change the incumbent Syrian and Iranian regimes and neutralize what both countries perceive as an imminent "threat" is a formula missing the only feasible option to defuse their perceived threat peacefully, which is obviously much cheaper in money and human souls.

 

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On August 19, Israeli former head of the Operations Directorate of the Israeli military, Maj. Gen. (res.) Uri Saguy, wrote in Haaretz that late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak "Rabin strove to achieve agreements with our neighbors before the Iranians got a bomb. If we had peace accords today with the Arab countries and with the Palestinians, what exactly would the Iranians' conflict with us be about? "

 

Giving priority to making peace with Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian people on the land -- for -- peace basis, which is the essence of the Arab Peace Initiative proposed by the 22 -- member states of the Arab League in 2002, would disarm Iran of its Arab, Palestinian credentials and create a new regional environment that would in turn render any Arab alliance with Iran unnecessary and would uncover Iranian regional expansion as an endeavor sought per se by Tehran.

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Instead, Israel is running away from peace making to warmongering, risking embroilment of the United States in a war on Iran that Washington does not want, at least for now.

 

Four-star chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said on August 19 that he has been conferring with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz on a regular "bi-weekly" basis and " we've admitted to each other that our clocks are turning at different rates." Israel 's envoy to Washington, Michael Oren, acknowledged in a CNN interview the following day that Israel's clock was ticking faster than Washington's.

 

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali " Khamenei has not ["probably"] given orders to start building a [nuclear] weapon," according to Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak in a CNN interview on April 20; His Iranian counterpart Ahmad Vahidi this week dismissed Israeli warmongering as "psychological war;" General Martin Dempsey cautioned against an Israeli strike saying it would not destroy Iran's nuclear program; President Shimon Peres last week joined senior security, military and political experts to warn against a unilateral Israeli strike not coordinated with the U.S.

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In the RAND Review for spring this year, Ambassador James Dobbins, who directs RAND's international security and defense policy center, and three expert analysts argued that " an Israeli or American attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would make it more, not less, likely that the Iranian regime would decide to produce and deploy nuclear weapons. Such an attack would also make it more, not less, difficult to contain Iranian influence."

 

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
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