David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, covers Giora Eiland’s (former national security adviser) analysis of the situation and options (all of the bad) as to what can be done with Iran. It’s a sobering and disturbing analysis.
In facing up to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Eiland said the United States had three possible courses of action, “all of them bad,” and that a decision could not be postponed for too long, “since delay, too, is a decision of sorts.”
The first option was “to give up” – to accept that Iran was going nuclear and try to make the best of it. By “making the best of it,” Eiland said, he meant “isolating Iran economically, politically and internationally in the hope that this will eventually prompt an internal push for regime change.”
This might also give other nations the sense that the political price of going nuclear was too high for them to contemplate, and might thus deter nations such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria and others from seeking to emulate Iran and spelling the full collapse of the nuclear nonproliferation era.
Washington’s second option was to launch a last-ditch effort at diplomatic action, he said. At this stage, a mixture of sanctions and bonuses would not be sufficient to deter Iran altogether, but it might seek to persuade Teheran to suspend progress for two or three years.
“In return, the US would have to open direct engagement with Teheran, with full recognition of the regime. This would boost the regime’s credibility and standing at home and allow it to say it was voluntarily suspending the program for a while,” he said.
The advantage for the Bush administration was that “Bush could then say, ‘They didn’t go nuclear on my watch, and it’s up to my successors to keep things that way.'”
The third option, said Eiland, was a military operation – born of the sense that the diplomatic process would not work and that there could be no compromise with an axis-of-evil power. However, internal political realities and public opinion in the US were not conducive to this, he said, nor was international support readily available. Furthermore, said Eiland, “this would be action that would have to be taken within months.
If not, and if Iran continues enrichment, it will complete the research and development stage and have a proven ability which it can then duplicate at numerous sites. And at that point it could not be stopped by military action. Six months or 12 months from now would be too late, he said.