Al Arabiya News Channel ponders a looming scenario – ‘What if… the Israelis were to bomb Iran?’
By: Sultan Al Qassemi
Baghdad, Monday, February 29, 2010, almost 15 months in the future, and Israel has attacked Iran’s nuclear facilties. What might the consequences be…
The shutting down by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard of all maritime traffic crossing the Straits of Hormuz, through which 17 million barrels of oil or nearly 25 per cent of world supplies flow each day, signalled a further escalating of tensions in the Middle East that sent the price of oil up by $163 to $228 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange this morning.
In a rousing speech on Sunday during the so-called Two Million Man March in Tehran, Mr Ahmedinejad promised to retaliate against what he called the “despicable Zionist entity” vowing to “wipe it off the face of the map once and for all”.
The Iranian government put its military on high alert immediately after the strikes, but is believed to be awaiting a visit tomorrow from the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, before taking any retaliatory action.
It is unclear whether the United States, which has a permanent residual force of 45,000 troops in neighbouring Iraq, agreed to or had prior knowledge of the strike.
Panic buying has resulted in skyrocketing prices of essential food items as Gulf residents hurried to stockpile supplies. Stock exchanges were closed today as investors rushed to the markets to offload their shares on Sunday, mirroring a sharp decline in Western equity markets led by the Dow Jones, which lost 17 per cent upon opening this morning.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who is meeting President Obama in the White House today to discuss the repercussions of Operation Persepolis, said his country will “do everything in its power to eliminate the possibility of another Holocaust”. Mr Netanyahu refused to comment on whether Israel would consider the use of nuclear weapons if Iran retaliates, maintaining the country’s policy of nuclear ambiguity.
The Pentagon estimates that the Iranian government, which has mandatory military conscription, has approximately 20 million men available for military service, four times the total number of the citizens of Israel, which also maintains a conscription service. Earlier this year in a military parade Iran unveiled its Shahab 4 intercontinental ballistic missile, which is capable of carrying nuc- lear warheads to a range of 2,300km, putting Israeli cities well within reach. Yesterday an Iranian military spokesman said that it had renamed the 1,000km range Zelzal 4, or earthquake missiles, the “Tel Aviv Zelzal.”
FULL ARTICLE: 61961.html
Yes, Israel’s been on a little shopping spree.
Been there, done that.
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