Any misadventure will cost the world
Israeli President Netanyahu is in Washington seeking a go head to attack Iran’s nuclear installations. Netanyahu maintains that diplomacy and sanctions having failed. “None of us can afford to wait much longer,” he has said. While none of Iran’s neighbours supports the development of nuclear weapons by Iran, Tehran maintains that it is pursuing a peaceful programme. Even if it was not so, there is little likelihood of Tehran being anywhere near the production of a weapon. The impatience on the part of Israel is therefore uncalled for. Israel is already in possession of a fairly large nuclear arsenal. It should be the last to accuse Iran for nuclear research and development.
Like a spoilt child, Israel cares little for the unintended consequences of a military intervention. The entire world will have to pay heavily in economic terms for any misadventure in Iran. Any closure of the Strait of Hormuz (through which more than a third of the world’s tanker-borne oil passes) would further increase the already skyrocketing Brent crude prices currently topping $128 a barrel. At a point of uncertainty about the recovery of world economy in 2012, a big price hike will act as a highly negative driver. The costs to the US in political terms would be grave. An attack on Iran would be strongly condemned by the Muslim world. Coming after US military action in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, the attack on Iran would be interpreted as yet another conspiracy against the Muslim world. The intervention would be resented by Afghanistan and Pakistan which, along with Iran, agreed last month not to allow the use of their territory against one another. It will add to Washington’s problems in Afghanistan at a crucial time during the endgame. It would alienate Turkey which is preparing to host international talks on Iran’s nuclear programme. Any attack by Israel would be widely seen as having been conducted at US instigation.
Netanyahu is pressing the Obama administration at a time when it badly needs the help of the powerful Jewish lobby in the US to win the Presidential elections. What must not be forgotten by Washington that being a world power it cannot afford t act irresponsibly. Good relations with Israel apart, the tail must not be allowed to wag the dog.