With an increasing chance that Israel would launch a pre-empt strike against Iran's nuclear facilities retaliation by Iran inspired terrorist groups with Britain in their target-finder would be a real possibility, which the government must take into account.
On Tuesday Prime Minister David Cameron told the Commons Liaison committee, Iran was seeking inter-continental missiles capable of reaching Britain. In the morning the cabinet was briefed by security chiefs on assessing Iran's nuclear threat. During lobby briefing a Number 10 spokesman referred CIA published reports of Iran's missiles ability to reach main land America by 2015, while on Monday Mr Cameron told the commons that no actions on Syria or Iran would take place without the UN, EU and the Arab league. The government was emphasising that the issue was international.
With Tony Blair's alleged misleading the British public and Alastair Campbell's 'dodgy dossier' albatross still hanging at Downing Street, it is near impossible to back a pre-emptive military action to against a grave threat danger to national security.
Britain's political class must neither allow Blair's legacy to cloud judgement nor believe in some non-sense about containing a nuclear Iran by the cold war era "balance of mutual destruction."
The founding myth of the paranoid Islamic Republic is hatred for America and Britain. Iranian school children are taught a twisted version of history disproportionally exaggerating Britain's role in the Mosaddeq coup that restored the Shah on the throne in 1953.
When Ayatollah Khomeini's was exiled in Najaf, south Iraq, some 40 years ago a fight between developed two families after mothers argued over a child's injury during rough play. When investigation revealed the cause to be stone thrown by a seven year old Iraqi boy the arbitrating Khomeini ordered tying up the Iraqi child and coerced the injured Iranian boy into hitting him with a stone in the forehead. As the two shaken children were led away Khomeini declared that justice was done.
While Mahatma Ghandi once rejected an eye for an eye justice as "leaving the world half blind," Khomeini's "a stone for a stone," is the Islamic Republic philosophy in getting even. Like many in Muslim world, Iranian children are taught the myth of Britain delivering Muslim Palestine to the Jews (ignoring Jewish nationalist group's terrorism against British mandate administration). Britain and USA are named in Iran's propaganda as led by the Jews in a crusade against Muslims and there is score to be settled.
Iran might stop short of wiping Israel off the map (as its president threatens) but there is little doubt, experts say, the bomb would enable Iran to blackmail Gulf nations into following its diktat, determine the price of oil, or even target a Royal Navy ship. Worse, some nuclear material might find its way to terrorists groups, making July London 2005 bombing seem like a picnic.
The other option is to pre-empt the above possibility but time is running out. Iran is working round the clock to reinforce the previously secret facilities with 696 centrifuges for enriching uranium at Fordow 260 feet below a mountain in the Great Salt Desert. When complete in a few weeks, the site would to be invulnerable to the GBU-28, the heaviest "bunker busting" bomb in Israeli arsenal. At best Israel can damage the ramp leading to the entrance and the loading bay machinery, which can be repaired in a few weeks.
The massive 14 tonne American GBU-57 Ordnance Penetrator, deliverable only by US B52 bombers but President Obama is reluctant to do it.
If Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu gambles going it alone, no serious damage to Iran's nuclear programme can be done in one raid as happened to Saddam Hussein's reactor in 1981. Iran has some 18 known sites (many remain secrete) all over the country, which requires several days of bombing with Israeli losses and civilian causalities (sites located in populated areas) generating world outcry and inflaming Arab and Muslim public opinion.
Retaliations by Iran sponsored terror groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza would be inevitable showering Israeli population with missiles as well as targeting US and UK.
Iran doesn't enjoy the regional support it did prior to 2011 Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, especially due to its backing for Assad's dictatorship. The fallout from attacking Iran's nuclear sites would hurt less than thought 14 months ago while the mess of Iran's proxy retaliation would be relatively shorter lived, and easier to clear. All lesser than the cost to the world if Iran was allowed to develop the bomb.
Cameron's government, on its part must make it clear to the Ayatollahs that any terror attacks on British soil will be met with a swift, decisive and precise action against Iran's main economic and industrial centres.
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