‘No responsible leader of Iran would dare not to have the bomb’

Despite the media buzz about a possible war between Israel and Iran, a military conflict between the two countries is unlikely, says Uri Avnery, Israeli peace activist and former parliament member.

America will not allow Israel attack Iran, even if the Israeli cabinet wants to, because Iran would perceive an Israeli attack as an American attack and respond accordingly, he told RT.

“Israel cannot conduct any major military operation without the prior consent of the United States. We need American arms, we need spare parts, we need ammunition. We need, if the war continues, support from America. America will not let us attack Iran,” the activist believes.

The hype over the possibility of war works in several ways, Avnery believes. It facilitates implementation of more international sanctions against Iran, which allows American and European leaders to show their voters that they are doing something about the problem. It puts leverage on Iran. And it helps the Israeli government draw public attention away from domestic social tension, which is a major threat to the cabinet. But the sanctions will not stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

“Sanctions may slow it down, but if a country decides to have a nuclear bomb for its own self-defense at any price, then sanctions will not help. Sanctions are just a pretext for the United States and Europe not to do anything,” he explained.

Iran does need to have an effective deterrent to guard against attack. However, the threat comes not from Israel, but rather from America, the activist points out.

“The United States was governed by a bunch of so-called neo-conservatives, or neo-cons, who decided first to attack Iraq, finish Iraq in two or three weeks and then to attack either Syria or Iran. This was openly proclaimed. No responsible leader of Iran after that would dare … not to produce an atomic bomb. It’s the only deterrent a country like Iran has against such plans,” Avnery said.

Meanwhile a nuclear strike by Iran against Israel or anyone else makes no sense at all.

“If they would, it would be the end of Iran. Perhaps it would be the end of Israel, but it also would be the end of Iran. Even crazy people will not risk the total destruction of their own country in order to achieve something which is completely unimportant, by the way… It’s all just religious talk by people who pretend to be religious fanatics,”
he believes.

However Jamal Abdi, policy director at the National Iranian American Council, argues that the world is at a point it has ran out of things to sanction in Iran without being affected themselves.

“We are actually looking at things that are going to be sanctioned,” he told RT. “There is talk of sanctioning Iran’s Central Bank which would effectively take Iranian oil off the market and it could put the world into economic tailspin . So what the US is finding that there is not a big appetite for a measure like that, which could push Europe off the edge and could raise gas prices in the US. So, a lot of us scratch our heads – what are the new sanctions that are being talked about and why are these options harmful to the US, harmful to US’s allies and are also harmful to ordinary people in Iran, but had not really had an impact on the regime at all”