Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Folly of Striking Iran

 By Paul Iddon

Israel's estimated 'month-long' conflict with Iran which is predicted to follow a potential preemptive strike by the former on the latter's nuclear facilities will be anything but a short conflict.

It was recently speculated by Israeli military analysts in the run-up to the 1991 Persian Gulf War that the Iraqi military had the capacity to kill hundreds, maybe, thousands of Israelis. However the military analyst I am referring to made clear that Israel could destroy a large part of Iraq's military capabilities as well as its economy.

Recently we're hearing that Israel could expect after a preemptive attack on Iran to lose about 500 of its people. Such an attack is also being predicted to lead to a 'month of conflict.' The fact that such an attack – coordinated with the United States which has a list of 10,000 potential targets to take out in such a bombardment – is predicted to last a mere four weeks boggles the mind. One doesn't need to be a military analyst to see how devastated a U.S.-Israeli bombardment would leave Iran if the latter were to retaliate – with its own missiles or through its proxies.

Also, one doesn't have to be a regional analyst to see the effects it would have on the wider Middle Eastern region. It was only the other day that Danny Yatom the former chief of the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency said that to stop any rocket attacks from Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza in the near future Israel would need to “act with great force against infrastructure in Lebanon and Gaza,” and added that “it is possible that the price that Lebanon and Gaza will pay will be horrible.”

Such a war will certainly change the power structure in the Middle East and will make the Iranian people hostile towards the west since their sovereignty would have been grossly violated and havoc wrecked upon their infrastructure. This will not be a war of necessity, and certainly not a war justified by the Iranian regimes rhetoric or its cruelty to the Iranian people, on the contrary, it will be a war of aggression.

Iran's nuclear ambitions – be they civil or nuclear – predate this regime. Instead of sabre rattling the United States and Europe should be helping Iran construct its nuclear reactors in accordance with world class safety standards. Similarly, as I never tire of advocating, California's finest engineers -- in the field of earthquake proofing buildings -- should lend their expertise to making Tehran and other major Iranian cities resistant to earthquakes that could potentially needlessly devastate them and their residents.

Iran should also be recognized as a regional player which will act with regard to its own short and long term interests. If Iran is producing its own nuclear weapons capability – a possibility that one shouldn't rule out – it is to more than likely to give itself an edge over its neighbours military abilities and alliances, something it couldn't as feasibly do with its relatively antiquated military. One sincerely doubts that Iran would use such weapons in a quixotic and preemptive attack or under any circumstances except for retaliation from a nuclear attack on it. That being said the political leverage would instil unprecedented fear in Iran's regional rivals if the current regime in Tehran does acquire a nuclear weapons capability.

Of course the idea of this regime assembling nuclear weapons isn't a prospect that one would rejoice in seeing it realized, however one also has to recognize the many factors that would contribute to present day Iran's decision to acquire nuclear weapons – again if indeed they are. Factors such as the encroachment and encirclement it faces on several fronts along with the physical sanctions and the mental intimidation that has in the past been and continues to be leveled against it.

If the United States wants to truly prove itself to be the main promulgator of democracy, human rights, the friend of those seeking freedom, and a benevolent rather than aggressive international power which is capable of paying dues, reparations and admitting wrongdoing for its past crimes against Iran and her people it cannot convincingly do so by dropping 1,000 pound bombs on it and them.

An attack would also likely rally Iranians behind the current regime and prolong that regimes lifespan as a result. It also has the potential to plunge the region into more chaos and the destruction. The misery this will bring will surely instil within Iran and the regions people more grievances and paranoia and prove to have been at its core a regressive action. The resulting burdening conditions that will be created by it will most probably be borne on the people of Iran and other peoples throughout the region.


Anonymous said...

When Saddam attacked Iran,it reinforced the mullah theocracy.
If Israel attacks Iran,it will prolong the life of the mullah theocracy.
This is what the bloodthirsty mullah theocracy wants.

Anonymous said...


Your thoughtful piece should have been submitted to one major newspaper so that some of the hawks would also see these follies. True, they have their own analysts, but few of them see or want to see these follies. The debate of to attack or not attack has been going on for some time and so many leaders, including the ones sitting in Tehran, do not take it serious. Certainly, most countries involved in a potential armed conflict are going to lose, and I guess even the mollas won’t be the winners. It is conceivable that once the Iranians see their country is destroyed by foreign forces, they will rise up against their own leaders who have allowed the conflict reach to the destruction level. Also, thinking that hawks in the US or other countries would take a positive role towards Iran and assist the country in the nuclear fields, as you seem to suggest, is somewhat simplistic or wishful thinking. It will take a long time for this to happen.

Anonymous said...

With the current state of California's economy and educational system you would be much better off using Japanese seismic engineers. You get what you pay for and California is circling the drain right now.

Paul Iddon said...


Thank you for the nice comment mate, true it is conceivable the Iranian people may rise up against the regime under the circumstances you mention. But we cannot count on a new regime -- or even a democratic government -- that may come out of such circumstances to be in any way friendly with the U.S. and Israel after they bombed its country.

Regarding the U.S. aiding Iran in the nuclear field, yes it is absolutely wishful thinking at the moment, but it shouldn't be, these are two advanced and civilized and educated countries, they should be cooperating in such scientific fields.

Great technological endeavors and potentials by the many great minds in these two nations are being squandered by the political climate in Iran at the moment, which is a major pity.

Anon 3:21 P.M.

Doesn't necessarily have to be Californian engineers, politically though I have suggested in the past that their presence would have positive psychological effects and represent a symbolic beginning of the many ways the two countries can gain more from a cooperative relationship instead of the pitiful one they have now.

Japanese seismic engineers is also a good idea. An earthquake striking Iranian cities would be a disaster, but with such world class engineering modifying said cities the disaster would be less catastrophic, and with better organization on a communal level and better emergency preparations on the ground I have every reason to believe that the Iranian peoples resolve to recover from such a disaster would be as good as, or even better than the Japanese one following the tsunami that struck their nation last year.

Anonymous said...

You fail to mention the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the middle east should Iran COMPLETE its nuclear weapons program. This would likely include Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and probably others as well. This would not be a favorable outcome for Iran and probably the reason why they have not completed their program.

It is doubtful the Islamic Republic would preemptively use nuclear weapons, but that is not the real threat. Iran's aggressive use of terrorism against civilians over the past few decades is the threat. Under a nuclear umbrella they may become even more hostile.

Their threat of terrorism is not an existential to any country, but serves the regime's self-delusions of clout and power. For example, Iran does not even have the courage to announce its military support to Asad, and hides its actions behind religious tourism.

Iran's terrorist agents will someday once again destroy a building (other than their own bomb making factory), or successfully throw a bomb into a crowd (other than having it blow their own legs off), so they remain a threat to innocent people everywhere, including the readers of this blog.

As long as you are not a Iranian nuclear scientist, or terrorist financier, you probably are safe from the Israelis.

Anonymous said...

------ " Instead of sabre rattling the United States and Europe should be helping Iran construct its nuclear reactors in accordance with world class safety standards." ----

that ranks right up there with the most ridiculous and unworldly bits of ahistorical nonsense that I've seen in a while.

What planet would a person have to be living on to think that the Iranian government would allow US engineers to be working in Iranian nuclear facilites???????

If the Iranians wanted such help they wouldn't be constructing such facilities secretly and buried under mountains and in the midst of military bases.

Hilariously blatherous.

Paul Iddon said...

@ Anon 7:25

I beg to differ, the Iranian regime draws a lot of support for the country's right to produce nuclear energy by pointing out how traditional foreign entities are trying to deny them that right.

The U.S. and Europe should -- in my humble opinion -- adopt a clear and unambiguous policy of offering assistance for an Iranian civil nuclear program, it can only be merely advice on the safety measures Iranian scientists should be using, but it would be a gesture all the same. I'm not saying they should patronize them or anything, but they should make their position to the Iranian public clear, that they will not infringe upon their right to develop peaceful nuclear energy.

That's not ahistorical, even if the regime doesn't allow them to do so or refuses to take their advice so be it, the Iranian public will know that the truth of the manner was that their national right to produce such a valuable form of renewable energy wasn't denied to them by the west.

By doing this the west in turn won't give the regime fuel to mobilize the public against what is perceived by many Iranians to be blatant foreign meddling and encroachment in their affairs (even though their own rights to 'meddle within their our affairs' are drastically limited by the current regime).

It is quite simple if you think about it. What is ahistorical is presuming Persia doesn't need nuclear energy because of its abundance of oil when it was only some 30 years ago that the Shah of Iran was promoted by the west as a man with great foresight for developing a civil nuclear program because he knew that one day the oil would run out....

Anonymous said...

Paul---- " That's not ahistorical, even if the regime doesn't allow them to do so or refuses to take their advice so be it, the Iranian public will know that the truth of the manner was that their national right to produce such a valuable form of renewable energy wasn't denied to them by the west. "

the truth of the matter is that the Iranian regime works like heck to insure that the Iranian public doesn't get to hear the truth of the matter.

The Iranian regime is what the US should offer to help the Iranian people with progressing away from.

and finally, there's nobody in the West who was seriously attempting to promote the last Shah of Iran as a man of foresight. The guy was widely understood to be a complete fool, an unfit ruler and a weak, weak man dominated by people worse than he.

Paul Iddon said...

@ Anon 6:10 PM

Agree wholeheartedly with all your points, good summary, cheers.

Anonymous said...


Very good article (piece), with the courageous vision..

Iranian expatriates should follow your thoughts and promote a lobby, with a similar program, to convince western public to those possibilities, which your article has been proposing.


I was looking for Mr. Fazeli's comment regarding your article and so far I haven't seen yet.

Paul Iddon said...

Sorry, I had meant to say "truth of the matter" not "manner", silly mistake.

Thanks Anon 5:29 AM, what comment of Mr. Fazeli's were you expecting/looking for?


Anonymous said...

To Paul Iddon and Anon 6:10 PM

You clueless people keep slagging off the Shah and blame all the troubles on him and call him a weak fool.

But the fact of the matter is some of the Iranian intelligentsia were weak and foolish ones to believe an old religious charlatan would give the people free electricity water oil and free bus passes!

Lets face it the country was rapidly going into the 21st century and some people couldn't take it,so losers blame the Shah for their own failures.

You people think Iran is some country like Holland or Denmark with reasonable people in it,but it's farther than the truth.As you can see the country is flooded with religious bigots and willing killers waiting to tear the countries fabric apart.

The Shah had an enormous task on his shoulders to carry.I like to see that Anon 6:10 PM or you Paul Iddon try for 3 days to run a country like Iran and then we see who's a "weak weak man".
None of you will last that long,trust me.

I hope you people are satisfied with your bigotry and warped view on a dead man that can't defend himself any longer and enjoy your paradise that you have created with the mullahs and spiteful Qajar leftovers for years to come.

You people deserve the Islamic regime!