Possible Iran Strategies Come to Light Amidst US Election Season

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth.

Just days after a foreign policy speech from Presidential candidate and challenger Mitt Romney that slammed Barack Obama’s handling of the Iran nuclear crisis, a report from Foreign Policy claims one option the Israelis are pushing is a limited air campaign against Iran that would require American involvement. The article, citing an unnamed source close to discussions on the matter, said a short-term bombing offensive on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities is the “most likely” military action, should it come to that.

It was unclear from the report if the US is actively considering the plan, although the article cited Israelis and US officials as saying the two nations are more in line these days then they have been. Romney, meanwhile, implied a shared vision with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on “red lines” to dealing with Iran in an interview with CNN.

The attack plan mentioned by Foreign Policy might last only a couple days overall, with one advocate saying it could send a significant message from the Americans that would positively impact the Syrian conflict and other Middle East concerns.

Foreign Policy author David Rothkopf encouraged the Obama administration to be more open about Iran plans so as to add credibility to a military threat, noting it could also have political benefits for the Obama re-election campaign.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the political aisle, Romney told CNN on Tuesday he believes Iran should not be allowed even the capability to create a nuclear weapon, arguing he and Netanyahu would agree on that position. CNN linked the comments to Netanyahu’s “red line” speech he gave to the United Nations, in which he urged the world to set a red line on Iranian nuclear fuel development that Iran must not be allowed to cross. Romney added he hoped military action would never be “necessary.”

“Hopefully, through extremely tight sanctions, as well as diplomatic action, we can prevent Iran from taking a course which would lead to them crossing that line,” said the Republican candidate for President.

The CNN web report, citing a Romney interview on the network’s “The Situation Room” program, quoted him as saying, “Let’s also recognize that we have a long way to go before military action may be necessary.”

Despite the quotes downplaying the immediacy of an Iran strike, Romney’s website says his own strategy calls for a “very real and very credible” military option for dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat. It also espoused intensified sanctions, military preparations in the region—such as regular aircraft carrier presence—and backing the Iranian opposition movement.

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 10, 2012)