Washington joins club warning Israel on Iran

Washington joins club warning Israel on Iran

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s statement on the end results of a possible Israeli strike on Iran because of its nuclear program has been a step to decrease the political tension in the region to a certain degree.

It has been days since three out of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council had announced they were against a military operation on Iran, since it might trigger further confrontation. Russia, France and China had made it clear earlier in the week that diplomatic efforts should be increased in order to convince Iran not to exploit its uranium enrichment program to obtain nuclear warheads.

The statements were in reference to Israeli President Shimon Peres who said his country was closer to a military option regarding Iran’s program than a diplomatic one. And they were made on the day that parts of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) claimed Iran might be on its way to produce warheads.

There was no response from the other two permanent members at that time. The next day Britain announced that it was for more sanctions (while Russia said it was against more sanctions), turning eyes on the remaining United States of America.

It seems Washington has examined the international political atmosphere carefully and thought a lot to find an expression like “unintentional consequences.”

There is no further explanation of what those “unintentional consequences” might be. But speculations have been out there for a while. Reuters analysts reported that Iran might block the Strait of Hormuz, the waterway where about 40 percent of all traded oil passes. (That reminds us of the direct relation between increasing political tension and oil prices.) The sky is the limit for other scenarios, including al-Qaeda-like terrorist attacks against Israeli and U.S. targets in and out of those countries.

This does not mean the possibility of an Israeli military strike has vanished; with a strong “never again” motivation, Israel might choose to carry on with a bleeding nose rather than getting a fatal wound out of a possible fight.

But remembering Israel’s dependency on the U.S. – its intelligence, material and backing (like its strike to an Iraqi nuclear power plant back in 1981) – Panetta’s warning might be taken as a word not to let that happen, at least in a short while.

That means there is more room for diplomacy today that two days ago after the U.S. joined the international club advising Israel not to take that provocative step of hitting Iran.

Now there is more to do for the countries – including Russia, Germany and Turkey – that have a certain influence on Tehran to fully cooperate with the IAEA to contribute to regional stability and join the “international family” as Panetta said.

Iran has the right to defend itself, like Israel and any other country; but not one of them has the right to threaten others while doing so