Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Could Iran be plotting a Hizbollah offensive to take the heat off its leaders?

By Robert Fisk

".......The Israelis, still threatening to obliterate Iran's nuclear facilities, suspect that if they stage air strikes against the Islamic Republic, Hizbollah would open another war against northern Israel. Hence the outrage over this weapons cache. If you wish to strike at Iran, it seems, you must be able to do so with impunity; no second front from Lebanon.

In fact, the Iranians have long ago promised to exact a fearful toll on US troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and in the waters of the Gulf – let alone a nifty little strike on Israel's own nuclear base in the Negev desert – if Mr Netanyahu and his far-right Israeli government decide to attack. This is why Barack Obama has been flying out his top brass to Israel over the past few months. Netanyahu's threats are Washington's nightmare.

Worse still, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's friends in Iran have been talking about the events in southern Lebanon. Is a new Hizbollah offensive being planned to take the heat off the crackpot President of Iran? And the Lebanese suspect that there's a far more dramatic dilemma forming between Obama and Netanyahu: that Netanyahu is threatening to let fly at Iran if Obama really forces him to end all Jewish colonisation [Comment: to his credit, Fisk is one of the few to call it colonization, rather than "settlement."] in the West Bank........"

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