The hawkish Likud Party-led Israeli government continues to insist that the United States bomb Iran, setting off a war which could be disastrous for US troops and interests in the area, not to mention the almost certain loss of many civilian lives. Dan Williams has the latest in a Reuters piece that is being carried by Yahoo News:
A senior Israeli official said on Sunday the United States should not wait forIran to decide on building a nuclear weapon before it considers military action against the Islamic Republic.
“When is the point at which it should be stopped? Just when the bomb is assembled on the tip of the missile and is ready for launch?” Dan Meridor, deputy Israeli prime minister with responsibility for nuclear and intelligence affairs, said in a radio interview.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who sees a mortal threat to Israel from Tehran, has hinted he could resort to war unless Washington and other world powers give Iran an ultimatum on curbing its uranium enrichment programme.
…Tehran denies seeking the bomb, saying its nuclear projects are for peaceful energy and medical purposes. Diplomatic talks between it and world powers have so-far proved fruitless.
Speaking on Israel Radio, Meridor praised the Obama administration for its insistence that it will not allow Iran to get nuclear arms. But such shows of resolve must be emphasized, he said.
Iran could reach a stage of nuclear development which would allow it to make a warhead quickly years in the future when the world’s guard was down, he said.
“This demands clarification, to my mind, to make clear that even an Iran that is a decision away from nuclear weaponry, be it within days or weeks, is a nuclear-armed Iran,” Meridor said.
Notice the strange logic of the Israeli hawks: even though Iran has neither decided to make a nuclear weapon nor enriched any uranium to a weapons grade, it is still nuclear-armed. How is it possible for a country that has no nuclear weapons to be nuclear-armed? Quite obviously, a country without nuclear weapons is not nuclear-armed, despite the word-play of Meridor and Netanyahu.
As well, Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons and despite the constant warmongering of its political leaders, it is not the end of the world. Additionally, Pakistan, India, Russia and the United States all have nuclear weapons in the region. It is understandable why some Iranians might wish to have a nuclear deterrent in such an environment, especially given the frequent calls of Israel for an attack on them. Should Iran get such a deterrent, how many US and foreign lives should be destroyed in order to satisfy the demands of Israeli hawks?
Update: Netanyahu is reported by Haaretz today as claiming once again that Iran is six or seven months away from having the capability of building a nuclear bomb. Israeli hawks and Neo-cons have been making such claims for many years. And once again, the bellicose Israeli prime minister demanded that the US establish so-called ‘red lines’ and promise to attack Iran if it crossed these lines. As usual, Netanyahu equated the Iranian capacity to build a nuclear weapon (even if it did not build such a weapon) with a reason for the US and Israel to go to war against Iran.