Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Some consequences of an attack on Iran

Juan Cole's 'How an Israeli strike on Iran could radically weaken Israel' is both insightful and provocative. He offers 10 possible (and inter-related) consequences from an Israeli-led attack on Iran. It's a list that draws attention to the potentially massive, far-reaching and destabilising effects of such action.

Cole speculates that Iran could retaliate by attacking any country in the region that supports Israel. Oil prices could rise and create greater economic turmoil in the West. Hizbullah might launch attacks on Israel, and Israeli forces would then destroy Lebanese infrastructure in response.

The Syrian opposition would be neutered (thus stabilising the Assad regime), there would be a strengthening of Iranian influence in the region, and Iraq would be radicalised. Many European governments would turn against Israel and the international BDS movement would gain a tremendous boost.

Diplomatic relations between Israel and both Egypt and Turkey would be shattered. In the long term there could be large-scale emigration from Israel.

Does all this mean that Israel will refrain from air strikes against Iran? Don't bet on it. It may be insane, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.


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