How the U.S.-Iran Standoff Looks From Israel

February 20, 2012 07:05

Officials in Tel Aviv have tried to alert the West to the dangers of a nuclear Iran for more than a decade. They argued that Iran would cause the technology to proliferate in the region as states such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia sought such weapons, turning a multipolar nuclear Middle East into a strategic nightmare. A nuclear-armed Iran would strengthen its hegemony in the energy sector by its mere location along the oil-rich Arabian Gulf and the Caspian Basin. –


By Efraim Inbar at


It would also result in the West’s loss of the Central Asian states, which would either gravitate toward Iran or try to secure a nuclear umbrella with Russia or China, countries much closer to the region than the U.S. is. A regime in Tehran emboldened by the possession of nuclear weapons would become more active in supporting radical Shiite elements in Iraq and agitating those communities in the Arabian Gulf states.


The perception of most Middle Easterners, be it foes or friends of the U.S., is that President Barack Obama is extremely weak, hardly understands the harsh realities of the Middle East, and that American use of force is highly unlikely. Perceived American weakness undermines the chances of economic sanctions being effective.


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