Gates warns against Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities
The Defense secretary tells a group of Marine students that such a strike would only delay the nuclear program while strengthening the Iranians' resolve.
Reporting from Washington -- Amid increasing suggestions that Israel may attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned this week that such a strike would have dangerous consequences, and asserted that Tehran's acquisition of a bomb can be prevented only if "Iranians themselves decide it's too costly."
Using his strongest language on the subject to date, Gates told a group of Marine Corps students that although a strike probably would delay Tehran's nuclear program one to three years, it would unify Iranians, "cement their determination to have a nuclear program, and also build into the whole country an undying hatred of whoever hits them." Israeli officials fear that the Islamic Republic may gain the know-how to build a bomb as early as this year, and several of them have warned that Israel could strike first to eliminate what it considers an existential threat.
Gates told students at Marines Corps University in Quantico, Va., that while President Obama "needs the full range of options," in his view "we need to look at every way we can to increase the cost of that program to them, whether it's through economic sanctions or other things." The Defense secretary said other nations need to put more emphasis on arguments that a bomb would diminish, rather than improve, Iran's security "particularly if it launches an arms race in the Middle East."
Gates' comments were delivered on Monday and first reported by the Army Times newspaper. A Defense official confirmed their accuracy.
Iran responded this week to the Israeli declarations, asking the United Nations to intervene to stop the threats.
Mohammad Khazaee, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, sent a letter Tuesday to the president of the U.N. Security Council denouncing "unlawful and insolent" threats of an attack. He said the threats violated international law and the U.N. Charter, and urged the organization to respond.
(America, Please pay close attention to the next line:)
Israeli officials would probably seek the cooperation and approval of their American allies before carrying out any such strike, experts say.
(Now do you really want to be dragged into a very serious war as Israel's puppet? A war that will only prove to Arabs and the Middle East that you are against them all? Israel suffers for paranoia, don't join them in their delusion. Pay attention to the next section as well:)
One reason is that Israelis may want U.S. clearance to fly over Iraq, and possibly help with aircraft refueling or aspects of the operation. In addition, a strike could set off retaliatory Iranian attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, straining relations between the two allies.Israel suffers from paranoia, proof here
But the comments of Gates and Biden suggest that in their private conversations U.S. officials are discouraging such a course, even though officials say they would never deny Israel's right to act in self-defense.