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Foreign Affairs

Iranian Rope-a-Dope?

Most everyone expects that Israel is poised to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities in the near future if the US and Europe fail to dissuade Iran from continuing its nuclear weapons program--a pre-emtpive attack that at least one knowledgeable person of my acquaintance says might include the use of nuclear weapons by Israel.  One can imagine the international outcry if such an attack occurs.

The one thing that might stay the Israeli move is "regime change" in Iran, as an Israeli attack would very likely derail the protests now under way, enabling the mad mullahs to rally the nation.   And the prospect of a revolution expelling the mullahs also makes it marginally harder for the US to impose real sanctions against the regime.  And what do you know?  The people are out in the streets again in Iranian cities, giving rise to fond hopes that the regime is facing inevitable collapse, perhaps soon. 

Which makes me all the more suspicious.  If the Iranians know that the prospect of revolution deters Israel and increases the likelihood that the US is leaning hard against Israel on the subject of a pre-emptive attack, then I'd want to stage-manage some very large and visible street protests.  I know, I know, it is hard to control a process like that once you set it in motion, (See Gorbachev, Soviet Union), but the idea should not be discounted that much of what we are seeing is street theater for western consumption.

Israeli intelligence was among the first to perceive correctly that the Shah was doomed more than a year before he was driven from office (our CIA thought the Shah perfectly secure for at least the next decade--harumph), so I would expect they are watching closely to judge the staying power of the mad mullahs.  That doesn't mean they could convince the Obama administration that time has run out.
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Discussions - 1 Comment

An interesting suggestion Steve, which calls to mind "the Trust," {perhaps the most effective counter-espionage effort in the history of intelligence operations}.

We do know one thing, people like Michael Ledeen have been preaching the gospel of that regime's imminent collapse for over a decade. Yet the regime lingers, and moves from strength to strength, and now begins to gather unto itself the power of the atom.

I don't subscribe to the notion, which is holy writ throughout a good chunk of our foreign policy establishment, that any attack upon that regime or their Manhattan project will immediately "rally" support to the regime itself. That regime is hated, and absolutely hated by a commanding majority of the Iranian people.

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