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Iran, Israel and the US: Rumours of War Continue as a Simulation Game Predicts Retaliation

Posted on the 21 March 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Iran, Israel and the US: Rumours of war continue as a simulation game predicts retaliation

One of the posters Israelis are making to show love for Iran. Photo credit:

Rumblings of a possible war between Israel, the US and Iran continue – despite recent efforts by an Israeli couple to convince Iranians that they “heart” them – with all sides wondering exactly how that scenario might play out.

A war simulation, called Internal Look and run by the Central Command in the US, predicted earlier this month what might happen if the Israelis were to attack Iran. It shows that it would lead to a bigger conflict in the region, as well as pulling in America. The simulation has led to worries that it would be impossible to exclude the US from any fighting in the area. Whilst America and Israel agree that Iran is enriching uranium, they disagree about the time limit available to stop Iran from constructing a weapon. The New York Times reported however that the simulation wasn’t meant to reflect the only outcome of the potential conflict, but the news came in the same week that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, in Tehran said the country would retaliate against attacks with equal force.

US President Barack Obama has also this week, in a speech reaching out to Iranians as they celebrate their New Year, Nowruz, claimed that Iran has put up an “electronic curtain” censoring the internet. He announced a plan to aid Iranians communicate with each other online, reported The Vancouver Sun. So nothing concrete as yet, apart from gentle overtures from America to Iran, and even a nod from the Ayatollah, who asked America to respect Iran. Perhaps there is hope after all, and all this talk is empty posturing.

“There will not be 100,000 dead or 10,000 dead or 1,000 dead. The state of Israel will not be destroyed,” said Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Israel Radio in November, quoted on The New York Times 

What did the “game” show? The potential consequences of an Iranian strike on a US Navy warship in the Persian Gulf which would kill 200 Americans, followed by US strikes on Iranian nuclear sites.

What were the conclusions drawn? That everything is unpredictable. But some say that Iran would try to carefully manage escalations so that the US would not have a reason to retaliate: so it might resort to dirty tactics such as car bombs or sending arms to Afghanistan. Many believe that Iran does not want all out war.

Well, at least let us know. Zvi Bar’el on Haaretz hoped there wouldn’t be a repeat of the “awkward situation” of the 1982 Lebanon War, in which Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon said that he’d agreed with Alexander Haig, US Secretary of State, about attack. He hadn’t. The differences between US and Iraeli attitudes to Iran’s nuclear capabilities are similar but have a large difference: Israel thinks it’s “only a matter of time” before Iran develops nuclear weapons. But Israelis need to be told about any attack – a “few weeks’ head’s-up [sic] would be nice.”

Is there any hope? This week an Israeli couple, reported YNet News, showed their love for the Iranian people over Facebook. Edry and Michal Tamir, a graphic-designer husband and wife team, posted a photo of a poster saying “Iranians, we love you. We will never bomb your country.” The story was even covered by the Al-Jazeera network. One commentator on the story, however, pointed out that Israelis ought also to be thinking about loving Palestinians and not bombing them as well. Iranian media did not mention the story.

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