If Israel were to decide that it had no choice but to strike Iranian nuclear facilities, what would be the consequences? This is the question Sam Gardiner tackles in this Special Report.
Israel seems to be losing confidence in the commitment of the Obama Administration to protect its interests with respect to Iran. As tensions with the U.S. increase on this and other issues Israel is arguably pushed in a direction that could lead to an attack against Iran sooner rather than later.
Immediately after an Israeli attack, the United States would begin significant defensive deployments to the region. Policy alternatives and calculations would favour U.S. involvement and the Administration in Washington is assumed to finish what the Israelis started, eliminating Iran's nuclear facilities. As the conflict moves forward, the United States would want to end it as quickly as possible. However, assessments of Iranian action along with a visible opposition inside Iran, would likely lead the Administration to expand the conflict, making regime elimination the new objective.
Gardiner concludes that Iran is the only country with the capacity to prevent the seemingly inevitable movement towards what would be a disaster for itself, for the region, for Europeans, and for the United States.
This is the second report on consequences of military actions against Iran published by the Asia Security Studies Programme at the Swedish Defence Research Agency. The first report, Consequences of Military Actions Against Iran, was published in 2008. It is available for download at www.foi.se/asia.