By Richard Silverstein -- (November 29, 2011)
Sheera Frenkel, href="http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/a-second-iranian-nuclear-facility-has-exploded-as-diplomatic-tensions-rise-between-the-west-and-tehran/story-e6frg6so-1226209996774">reporting in the Times of London has gotten several high-level Israeli intelligence officials to go on record confirming yesterday’s explosion at Isfahan’s uranium enrichment facility was sabotage, and not an accident as Iran initially reported (later it withdrew this claim and said no accident had occurred at all). Iran’s outright denial that any accident occurred is reminiscent of Hezbollah’s denial that it’s arms cache in south Lebanon exploded recently, despite the fact that local villagers, the Daily Star, and an Israeli source here in this blog reported the sabotage.
Among the more colorful and typically Israeli macho statements was by Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland who said coyly that he didn’t know if the Mossad did it, and that it could very well be “the hand of God.”. How many nations in today’s world do you know whose citizens would refer to their spy agency unironically as the hand of God??
The tragedy of this black ops program is that it will not rattle or deter Iran, as Israeli intelligence believe. It will have the opposite effect. It will make them redouble their efforts. It will make them less, rather than more willing to compromise in any meaningful way with western efforts to rein in their nuclear program. And once Iran has a nuclear weapon it will make it more, rather than less likely it will use such weapons as North Korea does–as a cudgel over their heads.
I’ve come to the reluctant conclusion that Israel knows this and welcomes such Iranian intransigence because it means the day is closer when it will be set loose on the Iranians. Israel’s policy toward Iran is scorched earth. It has decided the Ayatollahs are willing to die for their nukes and Israel wants to make their dreams come true. But it wants the world to go along, at least tacitly, which is the only reason it hasn’t attacked already.