Ami Isseroff gives us a convincing description of the most likely scenario if Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon is not stopped:
By “nuclear Iran,” I mean an Iran that at least makes a convincing case that it has or could have nuclear weapons – that it has completed the fuel cycle. They needn’t test an actual bomb. They will use their military muscle as an umbrella to further their two goals: eliminating the Great Satan, the USA, from influence in the Middle East, and eliminating the Little Satan, Israel. They will create a Hezbollah movement in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for example, where there are aggrieved Shi’ite populations (a majority in Bahrain) and a lot of oil. They will certainly gain control of Iraq, as well as tightening their grip on Syria and Lebanon.
They will control most of the oil reserves of the Middle East and demand a price for the oil. That price will be, as their leaders have stated, a “referendum” about the future of “Palestine” (meaning Israel) in which all the “Palestinian Arabs” in the world are allowed to participate. As there are a very large number of candidates for eligibility as “Palestinian Arabs” if criteria are sufficiently lax and imaginative, there is little doubt as to what the result of the referendum would be. Mr. Obama might be able to “live” with that for a while, but of course that would not be the end of Iranian demands, since their ultimate goal as Mr. Ahmadinejad announced, is a “world without the United States and Zionism.”
There are various things that might derail this plan, but an imposed Israeli-Palestinian ‘peace’ agreement is not one of them. Indeed, such a deal with the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and in the presence of Hamas will simply create a hostile entity — another Gaza, if you will — next door to Israel’s heartland, completing its encirclement by Iran-linked enemies, and threatening a three-front war.
While the Iranian leadership obviously has religious and ideological reasons to want to eliminate Israel, there are also geopolitical ones: 1) Israel is the only state in the Middle East that is strong enough to be a threat to Iran’s plan to dominate the region, and 2) insofar as it is an ally of the US, it serves as a way for the US to project its power in the region.
It’s been suggested that an anti-Israel policy will get the conservative Arab regimes on our side, which will strengthen our hand with Iran. But those regimes will be the first targets of Iranian expansionism and they are already ‘on our side’ with regard to Iran (interestingly — although they will never say so publicly — some in the Arab world are hoping that Israel will solve the Iranian problem for them).
Israel is the keystone of Western interests in the region. If it’s removed, the structure will fall.
Can you imagine a world in which a third of the oil reserves — more, if you include Venezuela in the anti-US bloc — is under the control of Iran, where political speeches invariably close with shouts of “death to America!”?
US policy to contract and weaken Israel actually aids Iran, a declared enemy of the US. This policy is at best irrational and at worst treasonous.
Just because someone is irrational doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have motives. Hitler lost the war in part because his irrational desire to wipe out the Jews of Europe at all costs interfered with rational decision-making.
There’s no shortage of important people who oppose Israel. There has always been a strong element, primarily in the State Department, that believes that the relationship between Israel and the US is an embarrassment, forced upon us by the Jewish Lobby. Truman recognized the state of Israel in 1948 in defiance of this group. It’s safe to say that there’s more than a bit of antisemitism among them.
There is also a Saudi-paid army of former officials and lobbyists that push this view. Chas Freeman, Jimmy Carter, James A. Baker, etc. are examples. Whatever their arguments, there’s a strong element of simple self-interest here.
More recently they’ve been joined by left-wing anti-Zionists, who consider the Palestinians third-world ‘people of color’ (never mind the actual colors of representative Israelis and Palestinians) who have been ‘colonized’ by Israel; these types suffuse the Obama Administration and apparently set the tone for White House attitudes. This is most likely Obama’s own view, although he plays his cards close to the vest. In recent years this group has also begun to be characterized by antisemitism.
Probably the only way to improve this administration’s policy will be to replace it.