Israel: Israel and Iran



By Tom Holsinger
November 8, 2023: The major effect of Hamas’ attack on Israel is that it makes an Israeli pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iran inevitable, at least against Iran’s nuclear weapons program and probably also its oil export facilities. This will happen when Iran gets close to developing nuclear weapons carried by ballistic missiles. Given that Gaza’s Iranian proxy nutball Hamas regime just made a suicidal attack on Israel with Iran’s help, Israel simply cannot chance Iran’s equally nutball mullah regime making its own suicidal nuclear attack on Israel as soon as it has the means to do so. A single nuclear airburst over an Israel city could kill several hundred thousand Israelis. Even if Israel doesn’t pre-emptively nuke Iran, Israel certainly will if Iran nukes Israel first. It’s really a question of who nukes who first.

Israel lacks the non-nuclear means to prevent Iran from developing such weapons. Iran’s nuclear program is now too widespread and dug in. Only the United States could do so, but it won’t, or at least not effectively, unless Iran overtly attacks the US, and maybe not even then if there is a Democratic President at the time.

Such an Israeli nuclear attack on Iran would spark world-wide rampant nuclear proliferation, which is a close to worst-case scenario for America’s own security. But a nuclear-armed Iran would cause the same rampant nuclear proliferation even without attacking Israel.

The open favoritism and funding of Iran by the Obama and Biden administrations, particularly including the latter’s recent easing of oil sanctions on Iran, has created an impending disaster for America’s national security. The Biden administration exacerbates this by calling on Israel for a cease-fire in Gaza. Nothing could more convince Israel that it must rely only on its own strength concerning the existential threat posed by a nuclear Iran.

Iran’s reaction to any major military action against it will be to launch thousands of guided missiles at the oil infrastructure of every other country in the Persian Gulf, excepting possibly Qatar, mining the Persian Gulf, and attacking shipping there. This threat has definitely deterred attacks on Iran so far, but now Israel’s survival depends on nuking Iran before Iran has the capability of nuking Israel.

So, if there is a real good chance that Iran will attempt to stop everyone else’s exports from the Persian Gulf anyway, the downside from anyone else attacking Iran first is diminished.

And the United States could avert an Israeli pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iran, and thereby also the ensuing rampant nuclear proliferation, by itself pre-emptively attacking Iran using only conventional weapons. No Democratic administration would do this because, for them, Iran’s nutball mullah regime are “misunderstood friends” who provide lucrative income opportunities.

But a Republican administration might. Iran’s mullah regime has degenerated into the usual Middle Eastern oil kleptocracy with all the usual vulnerabilities. The mullahs are now very corrupt, and that has produced such widespread suffering that Iran’s people are trying to overthrow the regime. Oil kleptocracy regime survival depends on adequate sharing of the oil income with its regime protection forces, which here is the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Inadequate sharing results in undesirable consequences for the regime, which do not always mean rebellion or regime overthrow. The principal regime protection force of the ex-Soviet Union was the KGB, almost all of whose key personnel went into business for themselves (chiefly theft of state property) after Soviet hard currency earnings tubed when the Reagan administration decontrolled American oil and natural gas prices. That was part of the Reagan administration’s plan to destroy the Soviet Union through economic warfare. That resulted in the KGB’s senior officers being mostly incompetent losers when the Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1991.

In Iran’s case, failure to support enough of the Revolutionary Guard in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed will almost certainly result in their being less energetic in suppressing attacks on the regime by the majority of Iran’s people. And Iran has a critical vulnerability.

98% of Iran’s oil exports flow through the one port of Karg Island. Iran’s other oil ports lack even 10% of Karg Island’s capacity. Two American cruise missile submarines, carrying 154 non-nuclear Tomahawk cruise missiles each, could completely knock out Karg Island for months, and its production could not be significantly restored in a year. I.e., Iran’s oil income would pretty much cease for long enough that its mullah regime would be overthrown by their own people. And their nuclear weapons program would cease for lack of funding.

Karg Island is the strategic center of gravity in any conflict with Iran. Israel would certainly nuke it in the process of destroying Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Iran would then take down as much of the entire Persian Gulf’s oil production as possible but, if the US launches a pre-emptive attack, a significant portion of that damage could be reduced by other non-nuclear attacks on Iranian naval forces and missile bases. And Iran will try this if significantly attacked by anyone, which is pretty much guaranteed given that Israel is as determined to pre-empt Iran’s nuclear capability as it is to exterminate Hamas in Gaza.

No Democratic administration in this century will do anything to damage Karg Island. It is highly likely that this will result in the worst strategic disaster in American history. Rampant nuclear proliferation will be that bad.

We better than most can economically afford the thoroughly intrusive security measures required to protect against terrorist nukes when the threat can come from anywhere, as opposed to Islamic extremists alone.

But the price of domestic security, when foreign security fails due to a failure of Presidential leadership and will, will be something much more precious – our freedom.

Freedom everywhere will suffer due to those same security precautions. The greatest loss of freedom will come in those countries which are freest, i.e., especially America. Especially us.

THIS is what is really at stake – the freedom which makes us Americans.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contribute. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   contribute   Close