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The Israel/Iran Crisis - how worried should we be?

(42 Posts)
PrincessPrecious Tue 07-Feb-12 12:27:24

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/05/obama-iran-israel-nuclear-military-strike?newsfeed=true

Israel has talked of attacking Iran to stop it developing nuclear weapons. How serious would the implications of this be? Many people think it would be another Iraq situation, a horrible war but not on a nuclear/world wide scale but I have heard some people say it could develop into WW3. I don't see how this could happen as would Iran have powerful allies willing to defend it? I know Russia and China are not always in favour of NATO decisions but would they start a war over it? What does everyone else think?

niceguy2 Tue 07-Feb-12 12:35:47

There's no appetite in the US for a war with Iran.

I think the chances of Israel attacking Iran unilaterally without support from the US is low given they depend on the implicit support of the US for their national security. And given it's election year and the US populace is weary from 2 wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, I can't see the US being keen.

The biggest worry is that Iran does build a nuke and lobs one over to Israel since Israel is a nuclear power and will lob some back. Then all hell will break loose and we'd lose our precious oil.

But given evil regimes are brilliant at clinging onto power, I doubt they'll do that. Once a nuclear war starts, they pretty much screw their own country which means they'd have nothing to be in charge of.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 07-Feb-12 12:45:44

The Americans don't want yet another war. They have to be publicly aggressive, as do the Israelis, in order to get the Iranians to the table but it will be the negotiating table where things get settled. My guess is that it will take a change of attitude on all sides, a 'Nixon in China' moment, before the relationship turns around.

PrincessPrecious Tue 07-Feb-12 13:04:43

Thanks for the intelligent responses so far....have got into a bit of a debate with DH over it.....but I don't want to stick my head in the sand if there really is anything to worry about.

AbsofCroissant Tue 07-Feb-12 13:22:06

It's also a bit, misleading to call it the Israel/Iran crisis.

There are a number of issues with Iran at the moment:
- allegedly building nuclear weapons despite being asked repeatedly not to. Yes, Israel is the most threatened by this, but it could be a threat to other non-Shiite neighbours and anyone else who disagrees with the current regime (a lot of people)
- treatment of local dissident groups. In c. 2009 (I think?) there was a widely disputed and criticised election, where the middle/educated class maintained that the results had been skewed, and their votes had not been accounted for. This led to widespread protests that were cracked down on quite severely - hundreds arrested, accusations of torture etc.. Similar thing in early 2011 at the time of the uprisings in Tunisia etc., there were protests in Iran against the Ayatollah and the current regime and again these were quashed rather oppressively.

Now the UN and EU have declared that they are extending the sanctions regime against Iran (which is pretty comprehensive anyway) to target their oil industry (Iran is a major producer of oil, but doesn't have the facilities to refine it, so most of it is shipped overseas - c. 30% to Europe via Turkey) and have already issued sanctions targeting their banking industry (so against the Central Bank and key Iranian financial institutions). The oil sanctions are intended to extend the existing sanctions aimed at stopping their uranium enrichment programme (which the Iranian government says is to produce electricity, no one believes them) while the banking sanctions are aimed at cutting off funding/foreign currency reserves to the government.

As the others have said - Israel is unlikely to attack without backing from the States as it would mean going it alone. At the moment, especially in an election year and having JUST managed to exit Iraq, Obama is unlikely to support any moves to attack Iran and enter another war. It's more likely (I would guess) if the Republicans win the next election.

At the moment, Ahmadenijad is seeing how far he can go - he frequently makes threats and sounds off. He's rather unstable, but a shrewd politician

EdithWeston Tue 07-Feb-12 13:25:10

You might be interested in a recent thread on this; here. It includes an earlier Guardian article, and what Millband said about it during the web chat.

Pedallleur Wed 08-Feb-12 09:42:32

However, there is no way that Israel will have a militant Islamic state to have nuclear capability and prob. a number of Arab states would also be unsettled. There have been a couple of deaths recently of Iranian nuclear scientists that may/may not be linked to Israel

numbertaker Wed 08-Feb-12 20:18:29

We are already at war. Wars happen in economics first, then diplomacy, then action.

Look back in history, great depression then war. War is good for business.

Its coming alright. Sooner or later.

But don't worry, Britains Got Talent is back to distract us soon. Hurrah.

amirah85 Wed 08-Feb-12 20:49:11

so israel and usa have nuclear and thats fine but everyone starts sweating if iran want it as well....doesnt make sense,tell them(usa and israel and whoever)to disarm,then complain about someone else doing what they do.but hey,they would not hold much of their power that way would they?and everyone is going,ooo,iran is doing nuclear,thats soo worrying...bah!

numbertaker Thu 09-Feb-12 11:06:45

Amirah I totally agree. Infact the USA is the only nation ever to deploy a nuclear weapon in a war situation in the history of the earth, nagasaki and hiroshima. (spelling).

I think that it is NOT about who has what weapons, its about who has what OIL.

All oil has to be traded in US dollars, so if I wanted to buy oil, I would have to change my £s into $'s to buy the oil. When I change my £'s into $'s the US gets a small fee for that, i.e for nothing. Iran and funnily enough Iraq both decided to trade in other currencies.

War is econmics now, sanctions etc.

EdithWeston Sun 19-Feb-12 19:59:57

I'm not usually one for saying this but maybe this time it is, in part at least, all about the oil.

bochead Sun 19-Feb-12 20:45:39

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/very-different-take-iran-barters-food-story?page=2

We should be very worried as actually it isn't about the oil, it's about the preservation of the petrodollar. The US has battered into submission any country that has moved off using the dollar as the currency of international exchange (Iraq tried to trade in gold, so did Libya). The position of the US if the dollar loses it's world reserve currency status is too precarious right now and they can't afford NOT to maintain their position.

the article above explains it very well.

It's also interesting that it was Iran that first experienced the world's first failure of a fiat currencyback in 1206 so culturally are less inclined to be impressed by the US's posturing on the world stage than most.
http://lewrockwell.com/orig13/earle1.1.1.html

Because of their history the average Iranian understands the stakes being played for re dollar supremacy better than we in the West do. We forget just how old these civilisations are compared to America, which is a baby in terms of nationhood and culture. (Think how far Chinese and Indian civilisation has been around).

Malemum Mon 20-Feb-12 04:18:34

The US have too much to deal with internally (economy & unemployment concerns) to even consider supporting an attack by Israel.

Sanctions & Diplomatic pressure etc will be the order of the day here.

emonslemons Wed 10-Oct-12 12:54:23

there will be war sooner or later and yes ww3 as another poster mentioned! god help us all

crescentmoon Thu 11-Oct-12 09:14:58

These petrodollar comments are very interesting. my brother bangs on about it all the time but iv never heard or read anyone else mention it. He reckons ghaddafi was dropped as an ally when he started pushing for a gold currency after 2010.

Albert Einstein said:

'I know not with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones'.

flatpackhamster Thu 11-Oct-12 11:03:27

amirah85

so israel and usa have nuclear and thats fine but everyone starts sweating if iran want it as well....doesnt make sense

Actually it makes perfect sense.

,tell them(usa and israel and whoever)to disarm,then complain about someone else doing what they do.but hey,they would not hold much of their power that way would they?and everyone is going,ooo,iran is doing nuclear,thats soo worrying...bah!

It is worrying. Swivel-eyed religious fanatics in charge of a nuclear weapon is not my recipe for a safer world.

numbertaker

Amirah I totally agree. Infact the USA is the only nation ever to deploy a nuclear weapon in a war situation in the history of the earth, nagasaki and hiroshima. (spelling).

The weapons which were dropped shortened the war by months and meant that millions of others who might have died didn't.

Myliferocks Thu 11-Oct-12 11:10:29

Genuine questions.
If some countries have nuclear why shouldn't others?
Surely if countries didn't have it in the first place then other countries wouldn't want it?
Wouldn't any country, good or bad, want nuclear if the country next door to them had it?

I'm not a supporter of nuclear weapons but just can't understand how countries who have it can turn around and tell countries who don't have it that they are not allowed it. Iyswim

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 11:20:45

"If some countries have nuclear why shouldn't others?"

Same reason the guy that fails the mental stability test shouldn't get a gun licence... hmm FWIW I think the current Turkey/Syria/Russia spat is a little more worrying than Israel/Iran this morning.

Myliferocks Thu 11-Oct-12 11:26:29

But surely that's presuming that the countries that have nuclear will always have a mentally stable person as their leader.
Being a democracy doesn't ensure the right people being in charge.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 11:34:35

Naturally. And of course one of the few countries ever to use a nuclear weapon in anger was the USA. But at least with a democracy there's a better than reasonable chance that someone sane will be in charge, that they won't exert absolute power, and that there will be checks and balances that prevent casual use of nuclear weapons. In dictatorships where even the most basic human rights are routinely ignored, there's a better than average chance that it'll come down to one deluded megalomaniac having his gold-ring-clad thumb quivering over the button.

crescentmoon Thu 11-Oct-12 11:37:36

genuine question about world war 2. why didnt america drop a nuclear bomb on germany to end the war? why only on japan?

crescentmoon Thu 11-Oct-12 11:38:53

"Swivel-eyed religious fanatics in charge of a nuclear weapon is not my recipe for a safer world"

what about george bush and tony blair then?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 11-Oct-12 11:42:15

Israel denies having /building nuclear weapons.
Israel refuses entry to UN inspectors.

Germany wasn't nuked because us had finished war in Europe at that point.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 11-Oct-12 11:44:27

It is worrying. Swivel-eyed religious fanatics in charge of a nuclear weapon is not my recipe for a safer world

Wa that referring to Iran or Israel? They both equally deserve that description...

crescentmoon Thu 11-Oct-12 12:09:41

unless america had capacity to drop a nuclear bomb only after germany ended the war then germany could have been forced to give up the war much earlier than 1945? why nuke the japs into surrendering but not nuke the germans into surrendering? according to this site the decision to use the atomic bomb on japan was made in 1943? how much of that was because of the 'otherness' of the japanese? especially considering how badly the US was treating its own ethnic minorities at that time? hiroshima and nagasaki was about sending out a message to the soviets, the middle east and rest of the world.

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