Not long after the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates said a war with Iran would be disastrous on a number of levels, with his Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen adding he too wasn’t interested in fighting Iran, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on the Administration to tighten sanctions against Iran and keep all military options on the table.
The Bush Administration has already passed legislation enacting sanctions against Iran, and Gates in the speech linked to above already said all options should be kept on the table, so what is the significance of Barak’s comments to the Israeli media? The Israelis are insisting on the logistical use of American military bases in Iraq to strike the Iranians. If they are not able to convince the Americans to hit Iran, then the next best thing would be to use American materiel to do the job, and as we’ve already noted some forward American bases are five minutes from Iranian nuclear targets.
However, what is more likely is this talk coming from Israel is meant to sabotage any attempts at rapprochement currently being made by Iran to America. The Iranian president has gone on record with American media saying they, the Iranians, want good relations with the US and will do everything they can to foster such a cordial atmosphere if the US stops being confrontational. He also repeated his denial that Iran is building nuclear weapons. Such talk coming out of Tehran has to be somewhat disconcerting to Israel which has built its entire existence on threats of its demise due to hostile neighbors. Even when there were none able to be a suitable threat, Israel made them up, as they are doing presently with Iran.