Iran’s next move?
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Iran’s next move?

The United Nations Security Council last week handed down another round of sanctions on Iran, for which the Islamic Republic promised prompt retaliation. We take this rare opportunity to applaud the United Nations for making the right decision and we urge our leaders to remain strong in the face of what has become a psychological chess game with Iran.

Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, predicted that Iran would either return to negotiations or start a regional conflict in response. Earlier this week we saw retaliation in the form of a new boycott of “Zionist” companies such as IBM and Coca-Cola.

Iran seemingly thinks that if these Western companies feel an economic pinch then they will pressure the U.S. government to ease its position vis-à-vis Iran. This boycott is unlikely to gain pace like the Arab boycott of the 1980s – itself still in effect yet hardly an economic factor for any nation or company. Iran has promised to spread its boycott to the Arab League but Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other league members are just as worried about Iran’s designs on the region as Israel is.

No, this boycott is meant as a distraction, more of Iran’s sleight of hand to shift focus to Israel. Raanan Gissin, who was senior adviser to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, told us in May that the Iranian government does not feel any pressure to change its ways and Iranian leaders need to fear they will lose their power before they will modify their behavior.

“You have to create a situation where they can’t sleep peacefully in their beds,” he said.

According to unconfirmed reports in Iranian and Israeli media, Israeli planes dropped off a number of supplies in Saudi Arabia last week, supposedly in preparation for a strike on Iran. Egyptian sources last week also reported that a fleet of 11 U.S. ships and one Israeli warship passed through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

Recall the motto of the Boy Scouts: Be prepared. If these reports are true, the pieces are slowly falling into place for a strike on Iran. If these military preparations are under way, it does not mean either the United States or Israel has immediate plans to attack Iran.

Even rumored preparations may, however, instill fear in the Iranian leadership that could spur change.

J.L.

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