Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Iran Will "Dash To The Nuclear Finish Line"
Countdown to the Red Line in Iran -Reuel Marc Gerecht & Mark Dubowitz
Iran's oil exports have been halved by economic sanctions, but that still leaves the regime with around $50 billion in oil income this year, according to calculations by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Nevertheless, the Iranian economy has taken a substantial hit from sanctions. Tehran's recent currency restrictions were also a warning: In all probability the regime is battening down the hatches, husbanding foreign-exchange reserves, and preparing for a long ordeal.
Given the progress that Tehran has already made with its nuclear plans - still-hidden centrifuge manufacturing plants, enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow, a likely weaponization facility at Parchin, and an extensive ballistic-missile program - the regime faces a short, relatively inexpensive dash to the nuclear finish line.
(Wall Street Journal)
Would Hizbullah and Hamas Join Iran in a War Against Israel? -Ehud Eilam
There is a prevalent view that in the event of an Israeli strike on Iran, Tehran's proxies in Lebanon and Gaza - Hizbullah and Hamas - would join in retaliation against Israel. A more likely scenario is that those groups' participation will be limited at best. Hizbullah must consider its crumbling support from the weakened Assad regime, as well as popular opposition within Lebanon to its role in a military conflict with Israel. Hamas' recent feud with Iran over the group's lack of support for the Assad regime could render it reluctant to assist in the fight against Israel.
(BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)