Rumours concerning the possibility of a military strike on Iran will continue to swirl in the Middle East this week. But this time, they will be more difficult to dismiss.
Throughout President George Bushs second term in office there has been constant, low-level concern worldwide that the United States might consider a pre-emptive attack on Iran in an (almost certainly) counter-productive attempt to retard Tehrans nuclear ambitions. This danger was always wildly exaggerated (see Iran strike? Part 1), and failed to account for:
– the hostility of the Pentagon to such a scheme, which would likely fail to accomplish its objective and expose US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to retaliation;
– the constraints imposed by the current US political environment; and the potentially disastrous economic consequences that might follow, such as an oil price super-spike.
But now the rumourmongers suggest that an Israeli attack, perhaps with tacit US support, could be in the offing. The signs are ominous:..