Tags: Donald Trump | Iran | Israel | Middle East | pacific | saegheh | thunderbolt

Israel Is Wild Card in Trump's Bad Hand on Iran

Israel Is Wild Card in Trump's Bad Hand on Iran
A Hezbollah fighter holds an Iranian-made anti-aircraft missile on the Israeli border in Naqoura, south Lebanon. The Islamic Republic purpotedly has ways it can hit back at the U.S. and its regional allies. Southern Lebanon’s rolling hills bordering Israel are considered a playground for Tehran through its Lebanese proxy militia Hezbollah. (Hussein Malla/AP)

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Monday, 13 August 2018 08:40 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The Trump administration has been dealt a very bad hand by the Obama White House in concert with similarly short-sighted European Iran nuclear dealers. And no player has greater stakes in the game, or a more important place at the table, than Israel.

As Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. told Alan Peters at Newsmax, all that 2015 deal has accomplished is to provide Iran with hundreds of billions of dollars it is using to fuel and fund its war machine in the Mideast: "They are just richer and more dangerous and the chance of war is greater."

Meanwhile, as Iran simply waits for the deal’s nuclear restrictions to expire, they continue to develop ballistic missiles with longer and longer ranges which will ultimately reach the United States.

Israel fully realizes that it cannot allow Iran to develop a nuclear arsenal. Iran’s fourth president, Akbar Rafsanjani, once threatened that “use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything.”

More pressing, the rise of Shiite Iran threats to Israel and broader Middle East security are already imminent, dire, and explosive. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently declared, "Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves. And we will act, if necessary, not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us — but against Iran itself."

Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its determination and capability to make good on that commitment. One example dates back to the 2006 conflict in southern Lebanon in response to an Iran-backed Hezbollah rocket attack on Israeli towns, and to the abduction of two Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers. By the time the 34-day war ended, 165 Israelis, and about 1,200, Lebanese died.

In 2016, Iran announced its development of a pilotless stealth drone called "Saegheh" (Thunderbolt) that could deploy a payload of four precision-guided bombs which Israel would be powerless to detect and stop. The "flying wing" design had been reverse engineered from a CIA-operated U.S. RQ-170 surveillance craft an Iranian electronic warfare unit brought down in December 2011.

Iran’s attempted Feb. 19, 2018 drone strike on Israel with the RQ-170 knock-off turned out badly for Tehran. An Israeli AH-64 Apache helicopter blew it out of the sky along the Jordanian border prior to reaching the objective.

That event, which marked the first direct Iranian attack on Israel since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, evoked swift and dramatic retaliation. Within hours, Israeli jets demolished the drone’s launch site, Iran’s Republican Quds Tiyas T-4 airbase in western Syria.

An Israeli F-16 jet was also a mission casualty. It limped back to Israeli territory and crashed after being struck at high altitude by an S-200 missile — the nation’s first aircraft lost in combat since 1982.

Israel faces a rapidly growing threat from Iran and its proxies. Whereas Hezbollah was pounding their towns with about 150 rockets daily during the 2006 war, they may soon be able to launch as many as 1,500 per day, a rate that can saturate Israel’s Iron Dome defensive capacity.

If circumstances are allowed to continue, Israel will be left with a wrenching choice of being prepared to sacrifice its own population of millions, versus unavoidably causing thousands of collateral Lebanese casualties. America once faced a similarly tragic dilemma which led to President Truman’s inevitable and devastating decision to level Hiroshima and Nagasaki — an action that ended World War II in the Pacific.

Meanwhile, and more encouragingly, as Iran pushes forward with Russia’s help to clear a direct "land bridge" attack front on Israel through war-torn Syria, they are also opening up previously unthinkable mutual defense partnerships. Israel’s former Sunni enemies, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, have since become de facto mullah Shiite opposition allies.

That fledgling Mideast coalition finally has an ally in the White House they can depend upon as well. Last fall, Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkoff, told the Saudi online newspaper Elaph, "Under U.S. President Donald Trump, there is an opportunity to form a new international alliance in the region. We need to carry out a large, comprehensive strategic plan to stop the Iranian threat."

That strategic plan to avoid a second Mideast Armageddon must involve another vital ally group, the vast numbers of impoverished and unemployed Iranian people now suffering from hyperinflation of their currency who had hoped that the Iran nuclear deal would have bring benefits to them. It didn’t, and protests are now spreading across the country.

Having lost their former freedom and prosperity to mullah dictates, all real and lasting hope of peace ultimately rests upon restoring internal control to those who fully recognize and act upon the urgency. Only they can prevent unthinkable, yet inevitable, alternatives.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2012). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
 

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Israel faces a rapidly growing threat from Iran and its proxies. Whereas Hezbollah was pounding their towns with about 150 rockets daily during the 2006 war, they may soon be able to launch as many as 1,500 per day.
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Monday, 13 August 2018 08:40 AM
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