Archive for July, 2012:
By: Meir Javedanfar
Tel Aviv – In his meetings with Israel’s political dignitaries, Governor Romney spent much of his time discussing the Iranian nuclear program and ways to confront it.
According to Israel’s YNET:
“One of Romney’s senior aides said that he would back Israel if it were to decide it had to use military force to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”
Its unlikely that Romney’s support for such a strike would win him much support in Israel, mainly because the unilateral military option against Iran remains unpopular among Israelis.
According to a survey by Maariv 9 days ago:
“only 19 percent of Israelis would support the go-it-alone strikes threatened by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative government, while 26 percent thought military action should be taken – but only with U.S. backing.”
There are various reasons behind this lack of support.
The fact that notable former military establishment figures have spoken against this option is one major reason. Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan and SHABAK chief Yuval Disking’s scathing attacks against Netanyahu’s support for a unilateral strike have dome much to damage the credibility of the Netanyahu government’s support for the military option. Dagan and Diskin are not alone. There are others former military officials who believe the same.
Therefore its unlikely that Romney’s support for this option is going to find a large audience between the Israeli public. Nor is it going to win him many points here.
Whether Romney’s Iran statements in Israel are going to win him more votes in the U.S is also doubtful.
These days Russia and China are in unison with the U.S as members of the P5+1 group which negotiates with Iran. Before Obama they opposed much of the previous U.S administration’s Iran policies. Today China is reducing its presence in Iran’s oil sector, which is a major achievement for the Obama administration, while the Russians are refusing to sell the S-300 missile to Iran, and refusing to return Iran’s money for the missiles.
Its difficult to see what Governor Romney could offer which is more powerful than the results of Obama’s existing Iran policies. The international consensus which the Obama administration has built against Iran and its negative consequences for the Iranian government are powerful, and tough to beat.
You can follow Meir Javedanfar on Twitter @Meir_J
It would follow that if a peaceful solution to the Syria crisis is to be found, all sides have to be involved, including Iran. But Iran has been totally excluded from the talks. One has to ask why.
My latest article answers this question.