Iran - all that we dont know

#2
What are Ma'ariv or Ha'aretz saying? It would be interesting to see what the Hebrew rather than 'English' Isreali press makes of Iran?
 
#3
I don't read Hebrew but what is driving the crisis at this time is the air defense Missiles that the Russians are selling to Iran and Israel's perception of their security. If they think it a question of survival, They will act and I am very curious as to what the Israelis are thinking.
 
#4
Interesting read. I'm curious to see what the Iranians are thinking about what the world is thinking, if it makes sense.
 
#5
The question that Israel faces is the same one that faces any external force trying to gain leverage in the middle east: who is running Iran?

On one hand we have irrational and deliberately inflammatory rhetoric that directly refers to an ultimate agenda to wipe Israel from the map. It can be safely assumed that this agenda would also seek the irradication/removal of all non-muslim presence/influence in the region. This agenda utilises apocalyptic and religious terms to garner support from the Iranian people and the wider Islamic world.

On the other we have a nation attempting to be the dominant player in the middle east. Make no mistake that if that happens it becomes a major world player full stop. You cannot hope to weild world power nowadays without a nuclear deterrent. To achieve this goal it needs to be able to prove to its neighbours that it can step up to the world stage (ie UN Sy Council) and make it bend to its will. It needs to also convince the rest of the region (and any opponents worldwide) that it is not to be fcuked with. That means it has to have the capability, combined with a credible intent, to defend itself. I'm not saying this is a good thing, just that it's an alternative to the "Derranged Beelzebub" vision of Iran being bandied about by some.

The big trouble with Iran is that it's both. It's not a 50-50 split by any means, but neither are we really able to assess the lunatic/warden ratio. I'm inclined to agree with the consensus that it is mostly the latter, but that Iran, in both regional and worldwide politics, 'does' the powerful state waging idealogical war against the infidels 'thing'. It's how it got noticed, it's how it got its self respect (and, cucially, that of its neighbours), it makes it a difficult diplomatic force to deal with and it gives those in power (and the unwashed masses) that ultimate panacea - the utter belief that they're right. It's no different - from that little back alley behind Horse Guards to the Potomac to the jacaranda-lined streets of Harare - you say whatever it takes to get the support of your population and allies, then you exert what influence you can on the world stage buoyed by that support.

I would suggest that the fact the international community are still seeking diplomatic solutions means that they've assessed Iran's government to be more rational than some of their outbursts, and facial topiary, suggest.

So, for us to be able to force a climb down by this proud and aspiring power, we need to understand exactly what it is seeking and offer a way for Iran to back down while allowing it to feel like a player. Yes, I know: this is where the yanks and Herrenbloke all pile in and start beating the table - no negotiation, put Iran in its place, do or die etc. I'll answer pre-emptively if I may: Iran won't back down otherwise - it may allow delays as the above report suggests, it may compromise on the extent of its enriching programme, but it will still continue to seek the ability to weaponise fissile material. The ME's oil ensures it will always be a battleground, politically and otherwise. When it gets scarce or unviable elsewhere we will likely fight some big battles over it - not all of them verbal. Iran doesn't want to be swamped in the melee - in fact it wants to be presiding over it. To that end it won't back down on nukes.

One sure way to stop them would be to go in and leave the country so deep in the stone age that it will be too busy developing the plough to worry about exerting global influence. Our military capacity and our 4/5 year electoral cycle won't sustain that kind of operation.

Limited military action may not do the job, and I don't hold the UN Sy Council in any higher regard than the local Parent-Teacher Association, so it will be another US/uk venture. That, or subsequent retaliatory terrorist action here or in Iraq, will bring down the labour government here (because they'll try to 'spin' it to us instead of present a viable case for war again), so it may be a unilateral US action.

Crystal ball gets hazy here, but an escalation of Islamist terr activity in Iraq and on the Home Front is likely. Iran has also been developing their capability in the knowledge that ourselves or Israel will try to come for it eventually, so I doubt we'd do the job anyway. We'd stunt their capability but vastly increase their intent to employ it. Especially via a third party (go on, guess who - funny hat, silly beard, lives in a cave).

So before that point, while we're still pretending to negotiate, how do we get Iran to compromise? Can we ever accept a limited nuclear Iran (we accept a nuclear Pakistan and North Korea (no - gettaway))? Can we stop the other crazy ragheads entering a subsequent arms race? If not, why not?

And when, sorry - if, we have to go in, how should we do it properly this time? Iraq was a liberation, this won't be.
 
#6
Well said RTFQ - Unfortunately I think that the "When" rather that the "If" in your last Paragraph may be what lies ahead.
 
#7
This time, we don't rely on the word of £1000 suited and booted lounge lizards.

We rely on the 50% still living in Iran , who voted for reform and liberalisation.

Note the proword 'Vote' . Iran IS a democracy , and the election wasn't a Saddam-type "Vote for me or it's a midnight sightseeing tour of the bed of the Euphrates"

Bush Junior DID start engaging with the 'liberal' element in Iran , and was making progress, until the Neo-Cons (Sorry neo) went back to supporting the interests of a third country, as opposed to the one they had sworn to defend and uphold the constitution of.

I often wonder why this US administration don't hold a loyalty test of their key decision makers.
 
#8
PartTimePongo said:
This time, we don't rely on the word of £1000 suited and booted lounge lizards.

We rely on the 50% still living in Iran , who voted for reform and liberalisation.

Note the proword 'Vote' . Iran IS a democracy , and the election wasn't a Saddam-type "Vote for me or it's a midnight sightseeing tour of the bed of the Euphrates"

Bush Junior DID start engaging with the 'liberal' element in Iran , and was making progress, until the Neo-Cons (Sorry neo) went back to supporting the interests of a third country, as opposed to the one they had sworn to defend and uphold the constitution of.

I often wonder why this US administration don't hold a loyalty test of their key decision makers.
PTP, i see what your getting at but look at the bigger picture.

The Neo-cons swore to defend and uphold the constitution of the good old US of A. If they ignore the Iranians attempts to get their hands on the bomb, they are in fact doing themselves and the world a diservice. If the Iranians do get hold of it, the power in the middle east would alter dramatically. No longer would Isreal feel safe that should their neighbours (who have a history of pre-emptive strikes against them) attack, they could defend their very existence with a dose of instant sunshine on a capital city. Not only that, but all of Iran's other neighbours would now be under the threat of a nuclear strike, causing increased tension and possible bully boy tactics from Tehran, leading to possible disruptions to the flow of oil. Ultimately it would lead to some sort of confrontation, be it small scale conventional or a large scale strategic operation.

Either way, the spams would be drawn in, thus costing US tax dollars and more importantly, service men and women!

So if they can act early to prevent the Iranians getting the bomb (and causing instability in the region), they would be saving themselves and the world a lot of problems later on.
 
#9
I think if Israel attacks the US will support them, that to me is a given. If they attack it will before the Iranians set up the Missile defence they just bought from the Russians. I think the whole situation rest in Israel hands in what they think about the situation . Israel is playing for keeps , for survival, if they miscalculated they face the possibility of extinction either way. I would like to know how they see things.
 
#10
PartTimePongo said:
This time, we don't rely on the word of £1000 suited and booted lounge lizards.

We rely on the 50% still living in Iran , who voted for reform and liberalisation.

Note the proword 'Vote' . Iran IS a democracy , and the election wasn't a Saddam-type "Vote for me or it's a midnight sightseeing tour of the bed of the Euphrates"

Bush Junior DID start engaging with the 'liberal' element in Iran , and was making progress, until the Neo-Cons (Sorry neo) went back to supporting the interests of a third country, as opposed to the one they had sworn to defend and uphold the constitution of.

I often wonder why this US administration don't hold a loyalty test of their key decision makers.
well said, it is a sad state of affairs that a group of politicos have anothers nations addenda foremost above that of the goverment which they have been elected to.
 
#11
PartTimePongo said:
We rely on the 50% still living in Iran , who voted for reform and liberalisation.

Note the proword 'Vote' . Iran IS a democracy , and the election wasn't a Saddam-type "Vote for me or it's a midnight sightseeing tour of the bed of the Euphrates"
How can you describe it as a democracy?

The Guardian Council vets whom is allowed run in the election. Of 1000 candidates for the presidential elections only 6 were allowed run. Now I accept this vetting process probably didn't have a huge impact on Ahmadinejad's election - I suspect someone similar to him would have won anyway. But it would have a huge impact on the profile of the parliament. Hardly a democracy? Theocracy more like.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/parliament.stm

Tricam.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#12
Something will happen - just pray to (insert deity of choice) that it does after we have managed to pull out of Iraq with some semblance of 'Honour'. And as a selfish git - after I have fled...

The only people left in a couple of years will probably be a few Crabs and a load of diplomats in Basra (probably in the Palace, unless that's a Sandals Resort by then). Although the thought of a remake of '55 days at Peking' featuring the current FCO may be a nice thought, I doubt it would take the IRGC that long to go through what we'll have avaialable, especially with plenty of local support :(
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#13
Something will happen - just pray to (insert deity of choice) that it does after we have managed to pull out of Iraq with some semblance of 'Honour'. And as a selfish git - after I have fled...

The only people left in a couple of years will probably be a few Crabs and a load of diplomats in Basra (probably in the Palace, unless that's a Sandals Resort by then). Although the thought of a remake of '55 days at Peking' featuring the current FCO may be a nice thought, I doubt it would take the IRGC that long to go through what we'll have available there, especially with plenty of local support :(
 
#14
A democracy in that a vote , sorry two votes were held.

After the first vote , it was so close, another vote was held.

A population was allowed to vote between alternatives, albeit not so Theocratic , and VERY Theocratic , but it was an alternative, it was a free vote by definition.

It was adjuged a free vote by international observers, and supported as a free vote by the UNSC.

It may not be our ideal of a democracy, but a democratic process , flawed as maybe , took place.
 
#15
Not entirely free choices though, all candidates were vetted by the theocratic wierdo's with the beardo's. On that basis I find it hard to consider it a free and open vote since they were only allowed to vote for limited number of candidates.

IIRC They had a choice between an unpopular former President (largely for promising reforms that didnt turn up and the poor economic situation), a theocratic insane nut case (the 'winner' ) and a few rank outsiders. When they get rid of the wierdo's with beardo's and the revolutionary guard then things will become more democratic.
 
#16
Notyouagain, IIRC the current President was the rank outsider first he creamed the mullahs prefered candidate and then beat the reformer in the second round.
 
#17
Ahmadinejad said that “The Iranian people through free election have chosen their executive power for next four years.”

In the course of Iran’s 2005 Presidential Election, according to the regime's numbers: out of 48,000,000 eligible Iranian voters in the first round 5,710,354, and suddenly in the second round, 17,000,000 voted for Ahmadinejad. If the government numbers were accurate, one out of every three eligible Iranian voters voted for Ahmadinejad.

But the numbers were not real. Presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who lost the election, pointing his finger at hard-line institutions and said a vast "illegal" operation was in place, aimed at turning voters against him. He went on to say that "all the means of the regime were used in an organized and illegal way to intervene in the election." Rafsanjani added that "I do not intend to file a complaint to jurists who have shown that they cannot or do not want to do anything. This I will leave to God."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/parliament.stm

The chart linked by tricam kinda reminds me of the English government before Cromwell. Was that a democracy back then?
 
#18
NEO_CON said:
I think if Israel attacks the US will support them, that to me is a given. If they attack it will before the Iranians set up the Missile defence they just bought from the Russians. I think the whole situation rest in Israel hands in what they think about the situation . Israel is playing for keeps , for survival, if they miscalculated they face the possibility of extinction either way. I would like to know how they see things.
Israelis attack, US supports, oil prices $65/barrel, quite a few russian technicians are killed in the process which prompts putin to condemn the attack and threaten to pull gas supplies to the west in protest. Stock markets take a dip and oil prices rise to $70/barrel. Iran retaliates by lobbing a few missiles into tel aviv and the green zone and probably either mining hormuz or sending a couple *OF* missile patrol boats after an oil tanker or two, oil hits 80+ a barrel, US & israel respond in kind to the green zone tel aviv attack, shiaa kick off in iraq in support of iran many pro western iraqi politicians find out exactly how safe they are, pakistan destabilises with a possible attempt at a coup. All oil lines out of iraq are cut by terrorists $86+/barrel. Tony blair tries to act as a mediator and in fobbed of as the irrelevancy the UK and it's forces truly are in this conflict. The Chinese see their only source of oil falling into the sphere of influence of the US and threaten/start to pull investment in the US. dow drops through 10,000 in freefall Venuzuela embargoes US oil deliveries $100/barrel, the first of a wave of bombs start going off in cafes throughout the US and US patronised establishments in europe and the mid east. sporadic but lethal attacks against contractor compounds throughout the gulf. truck bomb/missile attacks on the military bases in doha and kuwait

$100+/barrel oil and the dollar in freefall it's anyones guess what the fourth day of the conflict would bring.
 
#19
Agent_Smith said:
If the Iranians do get hold of it, the power in the middle east would alter dramatically. No longer would Isreal feel safe that should their neighbours (who have a history of pre-emptive strikes against them) attack

go on amuse me name me one war the iranians started..
 
#20
Invited, that is scary because it's believable. you forgot to mention Sunni's get the Ak's out from under the bed , and go looking for some.

Turkey thinks "bugger, better extend our borders right now, and settle the odd blood feud or two" , kurdish refugees head for Iran. Western media wrings it's hands, NGO's get in the way.Some Kurds stay and fight , Sunnis decide to sort out the Kurds and all , UK and US Forces forced to re-arm and crash-train Sunni's , and headhunt former RG commanders as the most reliable Iraqi's to watch their backs.

The usual culprits take to the streets to hijack the inevitable peaceful demonstrations in the UK, Police have their hands full , Army and reserves faced with acting in counter-civil disobedience role.

Iranian martyrs swarm US fleet in the Arabian sea , Government of Eritrea topples, unfriendly forces now have overwatch on the Arabian sea , and they have silkworms too.

Meanwhile , back in the middle :(


America, if you are so damned concerned, I strongly suggest you either send a no-messing very powerful delegation to Iran for some serious talking , or organise a meet at the very very highest level in Europe , between Iran , USA, UK , France, Germany and Russia

Bush Junior, can make a hell of a name for himself here, by fronting the Iranian President face to face.

Before anyone says "it couldn't happen" They said the same thing about Reagan and Gorbachev.

Members of the US administration who have a hard time choosing where their alliegiances lay, are told to get a grip or 3 squares and a lockdown for a 10 stretch.

Hardline Israeli politicos whine about appeasment , are told to shut up and wind their necks in , because constitutionally loyal Americans are taking charge now.
 

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