Ongoing Tel Aviv-Washington Dispute over Iran

31 January 2013 | 14:16 Code : 1912242 Interview General category
An interview with Dr. Assadollah Athari, university professor and regional affairs analyst
Ongoing Tel Aviv-Washington Dispute over Iran


Ehud Barak, the former Defense Minister of the Zionist regime, has stated in his speech in Davos that in case of failure of diplomacy and sanctions against Iran, the Pentagon has advanced plans in mind. Considering the fact that within the diplomatic system of the Tel Aviv regime, Ehud Barak has always stood in front of Netanyahu and has always been against a military attack against Iran, does that approach still continue or can his remarks be interpreted differently?

In order to answer this question, first we must comprehend who in Israel decide about Iran. Is it the defense, security, and military forces who decide or is it the prime minister and the parliament? When this issue is understood, then more clear response can be given to this question.

We can remember that in some cases, Netanyahu ordered an attack but the army opposed it. Thus, it should be clarified in the hands of which security, intelligence, or military institution or center of power Iran's dossier is. Coordination with the US or lack thereof is the next priority. For example, the attacks which Tel Aviv has, hitherto, launched against Syria, Sudan ... have all been completely coordinated with and supported by the US. What is obvious is that at the present time, the only solution for Iran is diplomacy and dialogue and the military option and war operations are the next stages.

Which power structure in Israel makes decisions, in your opinion, about Iran?

A collective of the structures I mentioned earlier decide on this matter. It means that the military, intelligence, and security team give their opinions and, in the end, their decision is coordinated with other ranks of power inside and outside of the country.

One of the reasons for the rift between Washington and Tel Aviv during recent years is the difference over Iran's nuclear dossier and dealing with Iran. Will Obama and Netanyahu have more coordination, in your opinion, in the US President's second term?

I believe that the difference between Tel Aviv and Washington was not over the Iranian issue, or perhaps it can be said that Iran was part of the problems that existed. The major component of differences was the settlement buildings by the Zionist regime. What Israel intended to do with regard to Iran was based on Resolution 1929 which was adopted on June 9th, 2010. This resolution was very strong and the Americans were totally coordinated with Israel. In this resolution, any production, development, and even deployment of ballistic missiles is forbidden and their defensive and offensive usages are not separated from each other. The difference between Israel and the US is that the US stresses more upon intelligent economic sanctions rather that military war against the targeted country.

There has been coordination between Obama and Netanyahu with regard to diplomatic measures and imposing sanctions. But some analysts believe that the US intends to solve the problem through diplomacy, while Israel pursues a military attack against Iran and does not follow the US in this regard and decides directly. But I believe that the decisions made by Tel Aviv are under cover and one of the dangers would be that Israel could possibly take some measures and put the US within a framework to have to take a certain position and this would be the most dangerous scenario. 

In the recent elections held in the Zionist regime, the Likud Party gained power with fewer votes. Can it be said that the public opinion in Israel is against Netanyahu's viewpoints and his popularity has decreased?

When a power intends to attack another country, it must enjoy domestic solidarity and popular support. Apart from powerful domestic support, the situation of its neighbors is also important. For example, Egypt is insecure and several attacks have happened in the Sinai Desert. Therefore, the border between Israel and Egypt and the one between Israel and Lebanon are insecure. On the other hand, there is the issue of the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood and forces which are active against Israel. Thus, all these issues are security problems that exist for Tel Aviv and, in fact, the Zionist regime must fight on several fronts. Also, the vulnerability of this regime and Iran's possible response puts all of its security and military institutions and its atomic installations in danger. Hence, Israel must consider all aspects. 

It is true that the Likud Party has gained the majority of votes, but it has tremendously been weakened and perhaps it will come to power through forming a coalition. It must be said that the weight of the votes of the radical faction has decreased which indicates that the radicals still have a place in Israeli society but they have lost the status of their complete political dominance. In other words, the dialogue among the radicals is the dialogue of hegemony and there are competitive dialogues as well which support diplomacy. The economic crisis and the issues of the labor forces … which exist in the Zionist regime, as you mentioned, have caused the people in this regime to demand that the government of this country give a higher priority to the economic and domestic issues rather than issues related to other countries. 

In the end, and in summary, any measure in Israel must consider international evaluations, domestic interpretations, and the weaknesses and possibility of responses, and then a decision can be made about a military attack.

tags: israel military tel aviv netanyahu iran

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