Our thanks to CNN for the above-linked video
Vince Dhimos answered a question in the Spanish language sector of Quora. Translations of the question and Vince’s answer are shown below.
First let me say that the statements of the Trump administration have already painted the US into a corner, making it tough to wriggle out of a military confrontation. On the other hand, Trump made statements about Venezuela that almost made a military confrontation there inevitable. Yet the whole invasion idea just sort of dissipated. Remember when Trump interviewed the interim first lady of Venezuela at the White House and she asked what he would do about the Russian presence in her country and he said “Russia has to get out.” But Russia did not get out (although the msm kindly made up the story that the Russian military was leaving), and the story just died.
Just now Trump said he was calling off a planned attack on Iran. Unfortunately, that does not mean there will not be an attack.
You will recall our report on the op-ed of a high-ranking Israeli general who pleaded for US military involvement in Iran. The fact that Trump backed off of the planned attack could mark a turning point in US wars or in US-Israel relations.
WILL ISRAEL PREVENTIVELY ATTACK IRAN OR WILL THE US REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH IRAN AT THE LAST MINUTE?
This question indirectly makes a statement by implication, which is not accurate. The implication is that there are only two choices:
1) Israel attacks Iran, or
2) The US reaches an agreement with Iran.
If Israel decides not to attack Iran, regardless of whether or not the United States and Iran reach a new agreement, then that would be
3) a third choice, ie, multilateral negotiations including Iran and Israel.
Let’s consider these three choices:
1) Israel attacks Iran. If this happens, Iran would have the option to strike back. Iran once said it had 120,000 missiles hidden in tunnels in different mountains in Iran.
Of course, Israel has its famous air defence system known as the Iron Dome. However, it is known that all air defence systems can be overwhelmed by large numbers of missiles flying simultaneously into their effective area of defence. Indeed, the Iron Dome was once overwhelmed by machine gun fire. Thus, like all air defence systems, the Israeli system is not invulnerable to attack.
Further, if Israel decides to attack Iran with bombs dropped from aircraft, Iran has the option to use its Russian-made S-300 systems, which can shoot down planes over long distances and are very accurate.
Further, the Iranian high military command recently stated that it has highly accurate guided missiles that can destroy a US aircraft carrier. Therefore, the United States will no doubt warn Israel against attacking Iran because it does not want to lose any of its aircraft carriers. If that happened, it would be more difficult for Donald Trump to be re-elected in 2020.
2) The United States reaches an agreement with Iran. Unfortunately, this is probably impossible because the United States already had an agreement with Iran, signed by several interested countries, and Donald Trump illegally and unilaterally abandoned this agreement without cause – because Iran had not violated the agreement. In so doing, Trump communicated to the whole world that the US is not a reliable partner and that no agreement concluded with the US is worthwhile because any president can invalidate it it at any time even without just cause. Iran has already stated this and has said that there is no point in negotiating with the US again.
3) Israel refrains from attacking Iran. Since options 1) and 2) above entail serious risks to Israel, this option is the only one that seems safe for the time being. But in this scenario, Israel has the option to negotiate with Iran in conjunction with other nations. Perhaps the best option would be to enlist the aid of the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Europe to negotiate between Israel and Iran. Iran has in the past offered to negotiate with Saudi Arabia but the latter refused to talk. But under the current circumstances, perhaps if the US and Russia initiated the negotiations, the Saudis would be willing to try. After all, Iran is a Muslim country, like Saudi Arabia, and its pilgrims try to make the hajj to Mecca once in their lifetime. It is also a friend of Russia. The US is deeply involved in this issue too.
The main problem in the Middle East is not the Muslim countries, and it is not Russia. Russia has friendly relations with both Israel and Iran. 20% of Israelis were born in Russia and Putin is concerned for their well-being. And Putin also meets with OPEC even though Russia is not an official member. Therefore, Russia is a very good candidate to lead negotiations between Israel and Iran.
As for Europe, it has very friendly relations with Israel but also wants to trade with Iran. Therefore, Europe is also also a good candidate to participate in these negotiations.
The United States is the only major world power that always sides with Israel against the interests of the countries that do not recognize the existence of Israel. This is a major disadvantage for America as an arbitrator because many Middle Eastern countries cannot trust it and realize that it is not impartial. The only way the impasse can be broken is through the intermediary of Europe and Russia. Given the threat of war, it is in the best interest of America to finally make some concessions to Iran. However, since it has already turned out to be an unreliable negotiator, unfortunately, the US may have to rely on the other countries to do the majority of the negotiating. It is also unclear whether Iran would go to a bargaining table with the US at this point. At any rate, it has refused to renegotiate the already-signed Iran deal. Indeed, in a civil court, it would win the case against the reneging US.
We can see from this example that by trying to achieve its goals by force alone and without diplomacy, the US has lost some of its power.
However, if other countries are still willing to cooperate with the United States, perhaps it can salvage some of its former power and become an integral part of the world community again and contribute to the restoration of world peace that is threatened by the abandonment of the Iran deal.