By Boris Pavlishchev
The situation around Iran is getting tenser every day. The preparations for military operations are obvious. The US and its allies are building up forces in the area of the Persian Gulf. According to the Israeli media, by March up to 100,000 troops will be concentrated there. In response Iran is conducting large scale military maneuvers developing protection of its nuclear objects and sea borders. Teheran has even warned its enemies of a possible preventive strike if they pose a threat to its national interests.
The complex situation with Iran’s nuclear program is one of the main causes of tense relations between the Islamic Republic and Western countries. Teheran is reporting about its new nuclear achievements, in particular on launching a new line of uranium enrichment centrifuges which make it possible to increase uranium enrichment to the 20% level three times quicker. Out of this uranium a 90% weapon grade uranium can be produced in only six weeks. Iran has also speeded up work on the relocation of its enrichment centrifuges to the Fordo underground facility, where 80 m underground they will be invulnerable for air strikes.
On February 20-21, breaching earlier commitments Teheran did not let the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visit its nuclear facilities. The inspectors were especially interested in visiting the Parchin facility which was earlier mentioned in the report of IAEA as a potential site for testing components of nuclear weapons.
Considering this, Teheran’s recent statement on its readiness to resume talks with the sixth of the mediators looks like a deceptive maneuver and an attempt to gain time. Nevertheless, currently there are no serious grounds to using force against the Islamic Republic, the head of the Center of Social and Political Research Vladimir Yevseyev says.
“Teheran’s decision to conduct nuclear tests could become an excuse for the use of force. The volume of the fissile material Iran has will enable it to produce not more than two nuclear warheads. With such a small amount no country will dare to start nuclear tests. The second reason is that Iran has no missiles which pose threat to Israel.”
Iran has the army and fleet which are capable of carrying out powerful strikes on any enemy. The Western media even use such a term as “potential for an asymmetric response”. But all these advantages will be reduced to zero in case of a large scale land operation against Iran. However, for the moment such an operation is not even being discussed, Pyotr Topychkanov, an expert of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, says.
“Israel won’t be able to conduct such an operation alone and the global society is not ready to support it because the issues caused by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been resolved yet. But Israel may conduct an operation similar to the one it conducted in 2007 against Syria. It may carry out air and missile strikes on Iran’s nuclear objects, which would allow to hold back Teheran’s progress in the nuclear developments. But it is necessary to understand that such an act of preventive aggression will lead to a new crisis in the international diplomacy and in the UN.”
Earlier this week Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barack said that Teheran has not passed the point of no return with its nuclear program yet that means that it has not made a political decision on creating nuclear weapons. That is why there is no need for surgical attacks. But the risk of such attacks remains, Israeli political analyst Alex Kogan says.
“Israel may dare to carry out such an operation. The experience of recent years shows that while you are gathering a big coalition, discussing different issues time goes by. There is an old English saying – if you want something to be done do it yourself. This saying has become a motto which defines the policy of Israel.”
Such a scenario is fully inadmissible for US President Barack Obama in the year of the election campaign. Although the US continues to build up its forces in the region its goal is making psychological pressure on Teheran. In reality the US is trying to hold back Israel’s military impulse. The US envoys who are trying to prevent the war have become frequent guests in Jerusalem. By now their visits have brought no results. Perhaps the situation will change after Barack Obama meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on March 5.