Thursday, October 14, 2010

(NEWS) Iran Wouldn’t Push The Button Says Israeli Military Analyst

"A multi-pronged approach, which includes military threats, is needed to stop Iran’s nuclear program, according to Dr. Emily Landau

As the U.N. pushes forward with sanctions on Iran, it still remains unlikely Teheran will use nuclear weapons if acquired, says one Israeli military analyst.

Emily Landau, at the Institute for National Security Studies, a prominent Israeli think tank, said she is skeptical that Teheran would actually push the button.

'The nuclear issue works on peoples minds. You get the effect through deterrence and through having the other side think that they can never be sure whether you will press the button or not. That’s the situation that you create when you have nuclear weapons,' Landau told the Media Line.

Landau added that urgent action is needed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

'All the debates that are going on about how much time is left before Iran gets there are, I think, beside the point. The right question is, is Iran motivated to get there, are they on the way to getting there, are they determined? And if the answer to all those questions is yes, and all the indications are that they are moving to a military capability, then the time to get serious is yesterday.'

Landau also criticized the Obama administration efforts to stop Iranian nuclear progress.

'Negotiations with Iran can’t be thought of as engagement and confidence-building. Those are not relevant to bargaining over the nuclear issue. In any case, Iran tends to view these offers as a kind of weakness.'

Unilateral steps would be more effective in dealing with Iran, she said, and the U.S. should assume the primary leadership role.

'In bargaining situations, multilateral frameworks can be the kiss of death, because if you have on one side a single, determined entity such as Iran, and on the other side you have six parties that are not in agreement over almost anything related to the Iranian situation, you give the one entity a structural advantage in the negotiations.'

Landau points out that Teheran has not been a serious negotiating partner in the past.

'In the past, Iran has not negotiated in good faith to say the least. They use negotiations in order to show that they are going through the motions of diplomacy, but there has been no evidence that they are actually serious about reaching a settlement, and they use the time to push their program forward,' Landau told The Media Line.

'Threats of military force have a role to play in the negotiations process,' said Landau.

What is needed is 'tough bargaining and pressure,' she explained. For sanctions to work, Landau said, they must be coupled with diplomacy and credible threats of military action. Iran needs to believe that U.S. military action is plausible.

'There has been a tendency to view diplomacy, sanctions and military force as three alternative routes to stopping Iran. I would suggest to you that this is a flawed logic, and these strategies need to be seen as complimentary, not as alternative routes.'" (source)

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