What Would US Do if Israel Defied It by Attacking Iranian’s Nuclear Weapons Program?

April 16th, 2013  

Topic: What Would US Do if Israel Defied It by Attacking Iranian’s Nuclear Weapons Program?

If Israel strikes Iranian nuclear weapons facilities, the paramount American national interest would be dissuading the Iranian regime from rebuilding its nuclear program – not punishing or isolating Israel. Washington should signal to Iran that despite America’s strong objections to an Israeli attack, after such an attack it would support Israel and further pressure the Iranians.

At least one of President Obama’s goals for his recent visit to Israel was probably to obtain Israeli agreement not to attack the nuclear weapons program of the revolutionary regime in Iran without US agreement. The Obama Administration feels very strongly about preventing such an attack by Israel.

Many people assume that if Israel defies the US by attacking Iran without US agreement, the US would join international condemnation of Israel, partly to convince the Iranian regime and the rest of the Muslim world that the US was not complicit in the attack, and partly in response to Israel creating major problems for the US by defying American demands.

While it is possible that this would be the US reaction, the overriding American national interest actually leads in the opposite direction. Even if an Israeli attack goes as planned, the physical damage to Iranian facilities could likely be repaired in perhaps six months to a year. Consequently, the most important interest of the US in the wake of an Israeli strike would be to dissuade the Iranian regime from restarting its program of building nuclear weapons.

Condemnation of Israel would be counterproductive, encouraging Iran to conclude that they can get away with rebuilding their nuclear facilities. On the other hand, support for Israel would be evidence of international determination to prevent the rebuilding of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Added to the delays and cost resulting from the Israeli attack, this evidence could shift the balance of opinion within the Iranian regime against the nuclear program. read more

Similar Topics
Is an Israeli Attack on Iran no Longer Relevant?
Don't fault Israel for Palestinians' intransigence
Is Iran a Threat?
What If Iran Gets the Bomb? Good Analysis
Israel's nukes serve to justify Iran's