American Foreign Policy Council Vice President Ilan Berman echoes much of Heller’s sentiment, calling a potential Israel hit on Iran a publicly divisive but strategically timely event.
“This is an interesting fork in the road with UN and U.S. sanctions. We’re no longer speaking in the future tense about seeing if sanctions work,” Berman comments. “The likelihood is that the economic pressure being applied is too little too late. Ultimately, though, Israel has to make a choice of whether or not they can tolerate a nuclear Iran in the region. Israelis have been deferring a decision for a long time but it’s a decision that can no longer be kicked down the road.”
No one has a timeline for a strike, but the proverbial regional ticking bomb is clicking away. As the status quo continues, a growing number of countries — Egypt, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia among them — are building their own responses to the Iranian threat. Allowing the situation to continue as is may create residual damage while a military attack could be the surest way of returning a power balance to neighbors, says Berman.
Berlusconi’s statement is an indication of the G-20 leadership’s understanding of just how much “Iran is out of the box,” Berman explains. “It’s not an issue of technology or a nuclear program; it’s about what the ayatollahs are ready to do with it.”
And so in hushed tones the U.S., Europe, and sections of the Arab world support a military strike against Iran, and the perception is that Israel will be the subcontracted hit man.
The message to Israel: Don’t bore us with the details. Do what you have to do and we’ll condemn you in public and applaud you privately.