That Israel’s government sees Iran and its nuclear program as an ominous threat to Israel’s existence is not news. That Israel makes this view known to American political leaders is also not news. But the extent of the campaign, its intrusiveness, and the forms it has taken might make people sit up and take notice.
Jeremy Issacharoff, Israel’s deputy chief of mission at the D.C. embassy, recently wrote a dire op-ed piece, Iran Must Be Stopped, for the Washington Times in which he advances the rather dubious notion of Iran as an aggressive regional power eager to dominate the region. Here is a sampling of his fevered prose:
Iran is placing itself in a position where it could severely impact the flow of global energy supplies and pursue a destabilizing, hegemonic role in the region.
This serves the readership of the Washington Times well though I’m not sure it will persuade anyone outside its orbit.
He attempts to argue that Iranian influence could prove decisive in Gaza in support of Hamas. In truth, while Iran clearly supports Hamas, the level of such support has been questioned by analysts. No doubt Iran has made attempts to support Hamas and will continue to do so. But how MUCH support this amounts to and of how much benefit it is to Hamas are open questions (though not to Issacharoff).
This essay is part of a media offensive to awaken America to the imminent threat Iran poses to the world.
How far Israel might be willing to go in pursuing its claims against Iran can be seen in this passage from Issacharoff:
Any overall strategy regarding Iran should be a combination of red-line diplomacy accompanied by an international determination to use other means should diplomacy fail.
In his column, the author makes clear that he believes diplomacy has not worked and doubts that it can. Thus, at the end of the day, only one option remains viable from Israel’s perspective: a military solution.
Israel predicts Iran will get a bomb sometime this year, which is wildly at variance with other intelligence estimates from this country and other sources.
Dennis Ross’ appointment is undoubtedly satisfying to the Iran hawks in Israel and elsewhere and it will ensure that Israel’s perspective will be felt in policy discussions.
On a different subject, Forbes Businesswire reports that the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Trade Representative revealing that a business group, the U.S. Bromine Alliance, accused Aipac and the Israeli government of being in possession of a secret U.S. government report containing privileged commercial secrets about production of a flame retardant chemical compound TBBPA. If Aipac will collude with the Israelis to steal commercial secrets why do we doubt that Steve Rosen would do the same regarding government documents about Iran policy with Larry Franklin’s help??