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Archives: War with Iran is Inevitable

Originally published in February 2012
Simon Nguyen

COMMENTARY | U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta raised some eyebrows this week, when he told Washington Post journalist David Ignatius that Israel may strike Iran’s secretive nuclear facilities sometime this spring. The revelation makes it a good possibility that Israel will pursue this move. Panetta would not have publicly given a timetable for an Israeli strike unless such a plan is in the final stages.

This would not be the first time Israel takes out nuclear facilities in a Muslim country. Israeli airplanes allegedly bombed a Syrian nuclear site in 2007. While Syria’s reaction to the air strike was rather muted, one should expect a much more aggressive response from the Iranians if their facilities are attacked.

As Iran has always viewed Israel as its number one adversary, a direct attack from Israel will surely trigger war between the two countries. Since the U.S. and Israel are inseparable, this means America will likely be involved in the conflict one way or another. In a meeting with U.S airmen on Friday, Panetta was reported by AP to have given hint of possible military actions if Iran does not reverse course.

A war with Iran is likely to extend beyond conventional battlefields. Iran’s greatest weapons are not tanks and guns, but its networks of proxies and terrorist groups. What actions Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza will undertake to support their ally Iran against Israel? Will Iran join hands with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to plan attacks on the U.S. and its allies?

The biggest concern with regards to a possible Israel-Iran conflict is its impact on the region and on the world’s economy. The Middle East is already on edge with mass unrests and unstable governments. The last thing it needs is a war between Israel and Iran. Also, Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz where 20 percent of the world’s oil shipments are estimated by the EIA to pass through. In a possible conflict, the Iranians will likely go through with this threat, which will bring oil prices to record highs. 

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