Iran’s nuclear goals threaten regional calm

After years of tension between Israel and Iran, it seems that the relations between the two countries have reached a boiling point, as Iran’s imminent development of a nuclear arsenal has led Israel to set several different courses of precautionary action. A preemptive strike against Iran seems plausible, and its ramifications could potentially bring about a global economic and political crisis of great magnitude.

A preemptive strike by Israel may be disastrous because it could threaten the oil trade in the Persian Gulf; however, it is important that Israel and the United States act quickly or else the consequences will be great.

Israeli intelligence has continued to monitor the progress of the Iranian nuclear development and now estimates that in six month’s time, Iran will have the capability to create nuclear bombs. If Iran were to gain a nuclear arsenal, the balance of power in the Middle East would be set off kilter as a nuclear arsenal would give Iran the ability to influence other Middle Eastern countries without fear of reciprocal action, while Israel would be hesitant to react forcefully in response to potential Iranian aggression.

The fear lies in Iranian influence spreading throughout the region, for there exists the serious possibility that Iranian nuclear technology could fall into the hands of terrorist organizations. However, Iran would be hesitant to allow their nuclear arsenal to fall into the hands of any other organization or country out of fear of retaliatory action by the United States and Israel, and to preserve the political clout the nation would gain from acquiring a nuclear arsenal.

Allowing Iran to attain nuclear capabilities would come at the heavy cost of diminished U.S. influence in the Middle East, which would severely jeopardize the stability of America’s trade interests in the Persian Gulf and surrounding regions.

Therein lies the dilemma of whether to take active actions pursuant to derailing Iran’s development of nuclear technology or bargaining with Iran to limit their use of nuclear capabilities for energy purposes only.

A possible dramatic consequence resulting from an Israeli pre-emptive strike upon Iran nuclear research sites would be the doubling of global oil prices, resulting in the creation of economic catastrophe and possibly causing the global economy to spiral downward into levels resembling the recession of 2008. There is even the possibility that the economic consequences of an attack on Iran could create an even worse financial crisis, given that the global economy is still barely recovering from the previous meltdown.

Another wrinkle in the decision to attack Iranian facilities is the timing of Israel’s actions. It appears that Israel is positioning these attacks to correspond with the American presidential elections in order to push the Iranian question into the forefront of American political discourse. This tactical decision by Israel puts America in a difficult predicament as the remnants of the Iraq War are still haunting American citizens to this day, and the emergence of another war could deteriorate American morale and cause the American public even greater frustration towards the White House and Congress.

The Iranian conflict will not go away until Israel decides to play its hand. Whether or not Israel chooses to attack preemptively will change the political and economic landscape of the world. The Iranian question needs to be answered, and it appears Israel will answer it soon.