Periodic Iran Craziness Update #2

The next in the series of updates on doings with Iran. I even half thought about putting up some kind of war countdown clock. I then decided against it because I am not sure I can read the tea leaves well enough to really judge how close to war we are.

US officials believe Iran sanctions will fail, making military action likely
This article says an Israeli attack will likely come in September or October because of political factors. I think an attack is likely but it will be based more on perceptions of Iran’s capabilities and intents with politics being a minor concern, The sad fact is that Israel realizes that at best Obama is a paper tiger and that Israel has the backing of a large segment of the US population.

Iran threatens pre-emptive action amid nuclear tensions
Acting preemptively is probably one of the dumbest things Iran could do. I wouldn’t put it past them to be so stupid though. Iran’s leadership are not rational actors except within their belief system. That is one of the things, probably the biggest thing, that makes predicting what they will do so hard.

Iran ready to wipe Israel off the map
If this report is true, this is a blatant attempt by Iran to intimidate Israel.   An effort doomed to failure, Israel has shown itself more than willing to stand for itself since it’s founding.   I keep waiting for Iran to start talking about the “mother of all Battles” or something similar.   When Iran really starts upping the rhetoric it is time to start worrying.   I don’t think Iran’s army will be the pushover that Iraq’s was.   I could be wrong there too though.

Iran, Lebanon talk defence ties, slam Israel
This is more concerning since if Iran builds a network of alliances around Israel they are actually more likely to provoke Israel into a preemptive attack before Israel judges it is too late.

My Take:

I think the war talk is for the most part hyperbole.   Absent definitive proof that Iran possesses or is about to possess nuclear weapons or that Iran is going to attempt to shut down the Straits of Hormuz, I don’t see how military action against Iran will get the support it needs.   I don’t see war with Iran this year.   That does not mean that I think war with Iran is unthinkable, far from it.   I just don’t think it is likely in the near future.   At this stage Iran and the West have too much to lose by a war and not much to gain.   The danger is that sanctions back the Iranian regime into such a corner that they see war as their only viable option.   Of course, Iran could give up it’s nuclear program, but why would they.   They have the example of North Korea in front of them of a pariah regime gaining nuclear weapons while the West just manages to look impotent and powerless, not to mention India and Pakistan.   There is nothing to say the same thing won’t happen with Iran.