How Iran might benefit from an Israeli attack

Trita Parsi writes: The Chairman of Joints Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey serves “Iran’s interests.”

So says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Dempsey’s public caution about an Israeli attack on Iran – “I don’t think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran” – earned him this dubious honor.

For the Netanyahu government to level such serious accusations against America’s top military commander necessitates a revision of the meaning of chutzpah. We need a stronger term.

But those leveling such accusations—whether in the Likud-led government or their supporters in the US—are the ones that have the most to hide. If the same (flawed and anti-democratic) methodology of questioning the loyalty and patriotism of their domestic political opponents and implying that they are in cohoots with an enemy state were applied to them, a very disturbing picture would emerge.

Who would the true winners and losers of an Israeli attack on Iran be, for instance?

The Obama administration and the US military strongly oppose an Israeli preventive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Their opposition, of course, is not rooted in any sympathy with the repressive regime in Tehran. Nor is it necessarily rooted in America’s already compromised military position in the region. It is because a strike would not destroy Iran’s nuclear program. It would intsead increase the likelihood of a nuclear armed Iran down the road. It would unravel the international consensus against Iran. It would undermine the Iranian pro-democracy movement and fortify the regime’s grip on power. And, perhaps most importantly, it would eliminate the current insight we have into the Iranian nuclear program and provide the Iranians with a dash-out capability.

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