Benny Gantz and the Real Reason for the Target Over Tehran

The comments of Israel’s top military chief Benny Gantz are getting a lot of attention. But they are not new.

“[Iran] is going step by step to the place where it will be able to decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb. It hasn’t yet decided whether to go the extra mile.”

“If the supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants, he will advance it to the acquisition of a nuclear bomb, but the decision must first be taken. It will happen if Khamenei judges that he is invulnerable to a [military] response,” he said in the interview published on Wednesday.

“I believe he would be making an enormous mistake, and I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile.”

“I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people. But I agree that such a capability, in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists who at particular moments could make different calculations, is dangerous.”

Here Gantz explains what we at Antiwar.com and those in the U.S. intelligence community have been saying all along. As I see it, he acknowledges three key points: (1) Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, (2) Iran’s posture of maintaining technical capability is defensive, not offensive, (3) the Iranian leadership are rational actors. All of these claims, while advocated by the experts, are rejected and even derided by warmongers in Washington and in the news media. Often left out of the conversation altogether is what military and intelligence experts have also expressed, namely that attacking Iran would almost surely bring about the result the warmongers supposedly want to prevent: an emboldened, perhaps nuclear Iran.

What Gantz doesn’t mention is something I’ve been pondering for a long time: If these three postulates are true, why have world leaders threatened to attack Iran and why are such high-level negotiations to “restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program” necessary? As I’ve written, I think the reasons are similar to those given to justify constantly patrolling the Persian Gulf with U.S. warships.

Why menace Iran when it presents no threat to us? When Obama accelerated the deployment of warships to the Gulf in 2010, the New York Times described it as “part of a coordinated administration strategy to increase pressure on Iran” and also “intended to counter the impression that Iran is fast becoming the most powerful military force in the Middle East.” Onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz last February, BBC reporter Jonathan Beale explained, “This carrier and these [fighter] jets are more than just a show of force, they’re here to send a clear message to Iran as to who really controls these waters.”

  • Rob

    Gantz. It's "Gantz" (no "r"). Otherwise spot on. [insert obnoxious emoticon here]

    • John Glaser

      Sorry. It’s been fixed.

  • What is new is not the revealed truth but the fact that Gantz said it and said it at a key moment (Holocaust Memorial) when Netanyahu was ranting. What is even more notable in my mind is that Gantz also said decisions must be made "without hysteria" at precisely the moment when Netanyahu was, frankly, sounding his hysterical best. [http://shadowedforest.blogspot.com/2012/04/nuclear-hysteria.html]

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  • hassani1387

    Look folks, the fact is right now, today, there are 40 countries that are "capable" of making nukes, according to estimates by the IAEA and Greenpeace. That's 1 out of every 4 or 5 countries on the planet. This is for the very simple reason that civilian and military nuclear technology is essentially the same. Brazil, Japan, Argentina, etc. can all in theory make a bomb. Iran is no different. Iran has a nuclear weapons capability not for "defensive" purposes but for the very simple reason that it has a civilian nuclear program that is perfectly legal. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/

  • smithy1000

    I read an article that said that the iranians have place a magnet seal on the bottom of each us warship in the persian gulf. It is just a symbol of who really does control those waters.

  • smithy1000

    Gantz does not know what the iranains are thinking. And if he did have intelligence to that effect he would not say it. It is part of israels coordinated effort. Netenyahoo rants and the general pretends to be rational.

  • tomofsnj

    Iran has been preparing for 30 plus years the attack by the western nations. It would be best to not take on this nation but Iran is blocking the creation of Empire Israel. Israel is out of water and they have to find more water. Israel stole plenty of water in the 1967 war but they wasted that water with one really stupid stunt. That stunt was planting trees in a desert. They crowed they came to the desert and created a forrest. They are correct but the trees suck up the water tables and they become a fire danger. Millions of small plants being placed in the ground is easy but the removal of millions of big trees is impossible. It is much more easy to look at a neighbor and as usual plan on stealing what they have. Lebaonon is basically unable to stop the massive war machine of the Israel but with Hazbelloh they can make the invasion so costly that Israel will not do it. Iran and Syria are helping the hazbelloh with military equipment. Israel does not like to attack people who can defend themself.
    Attacking Iran will be a bigger disaster than Iraq. We will clearly win in the first few days but I suspect we will suffer thousands killed in the occupation. I do hope that we let Israel do this one if we have to do it. The IDF has not attacked a real military unit since 1973. They are due. We should at best wish them will and let they bleed in a war they forced on the world.

  • Walter Cole

    An excellent article!

    The only purpose for this Iran bashing is to distract us all. Just look at all of the sick legislation being approved in record time while we all focus on this idiotic threat from nowhere.

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  • hi well thought out post – Benny Gantz and the Real Reason for the Target Over Tehran Antiwar.com Blog ,If you want more visitors to your blog you should check this out – http://bit.ly/JZsaDS , l8rs Leanne Ahle

  • These reasons look familiar to me and i am quite amazed to see all of them presented in such a wonderful way.

  • ween

    Target over Tehran is one of the ongoing step by step place, who will be able to decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb .
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  • @tomsofnj I agree that Iran has been preparing for a war against western nations, but the same could be said about the western nations. The only difference being that the western nations are experienced in the area.

  • Habib

    I read an article that said that the Iranians to put a magnet under seal each one of us warship in the Persian Gulf. swimwearplace This is just a symbol that actually control the water.

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  • I cannot understand that why people are so desperate about the nuclear weapon production in Iraq.My question is why?/ Is this is the only right for the USA.It seems that USA has made the nuclear weapon as a herudetory property.

  • I think now a days the Muslim communities are being disgraced by the developed countries in the world.I cannot understand what is the benefit of such brutal assault.

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  • Kowski

    Tehran will not stop their enrichment program as they are more concern about the US attacks in the Muslim countries. I heard that in Tehran you can only smoke with < a href="http://info-electronic-cigarettes.com">electronic cigarette. There will be a war and loss of lives.