News / Middle East

Confrontation Looms in 2013 Between Israel, Iran

Scott Bobb
As 2012 drew to a close, Israeli political analysts predicted that tensions between Israel and Iran over its reported nuclear weapons program are likely to rise.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in yearend remarks, reiterated the risks he sees if Iran enriches enough uranium to build a nuclear bomb.

"I have to tell you my assessment has not changed. Iran is two-and-a-half months closer to crossing this line and there is no doubt that this will be a major challenge that will have to be addressed next year," said Netanyahu.

Israel on standby

He said Israel is prepared to attack Iranian nuclear installations and do it without U.S. support if necessary. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful uses and if attacked, it will retaliate.

Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad said he is unfazed by Israeli rhetoric.

"Although we are fully prepared for it, we don't take them seriously. They say something, we say something back," said Ahmadinejad.

Israeli analyst at Tel Aviv's Institute for National Security Studies [INSS], Shlomo Brom, said Iran's leaders want to avoid a military confrontation. If there is one, though, he said he believes Israel has the military capability to withstand any attack.

"Because of that, I am not so concerned about the military ramifications of an Israeli operation. I am more concerned about the political ramifications," said Brom.

Iranian retaliation

He said potential Iranian retaliation on non-Israeli targets, such as oil shipping routes could drag Western powers into the conflict - and create resentment against Israel among their citizens.

Fellow INSS analyst Ephraim Kam said a nuclear-armed Iran would have major regional repercussions.
“It will make the Middle East less stable. It might induce other countries in the Middle East to join the nuclear race, countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Turkey, or Syria, in the long run, perhaps even Iraq," said Kam.
But Brom said he thinks the security concerns of some Israeli leaders are overblown [exaggerated].
"We'll face security problems, but they will be not as severe as the predictions were. But of course the situation will not be as good as some people in the Western world thought," he said.
Brom said that weakened governance in neighboring states brought on by the Arab uprisings could become as great a security concern for Israel as the confrontation with Iran.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Divest from war camapgin from: worldwide campaign online
December 20, 2012 8:13 PM
Are you worried about an Israeli attack on Iran starting Middle East War III?

Then please sign the pledge to BOYCOTT ISRAEL IF IT ATTACKS IRAN:

And spread the word to others.

By (nonviolently) increasing the cost to Israel of starting a war, we can help to prevent it, instead of merely protesting it after the fact.

by: JohnWV from: USA
December 20, 2012 11:14 AM
NO MORE WARS! Israel has ICBM nukes and openly threatens Iran, actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not Iran, is the warmonger. Resolution lies with lifting all sanctions and compensating Iran for damages from the $$$ billions we will no longer be giving the Jewish state. An Iran with nukes would disrupt the Jewish state's brutish pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and apartheid empire. With balanced Iran-Israel hegemony, Mideast peace may actually be possible. NO MORE WARS!
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 20, 2012 6:09 PM
Sir, you cannot be farther from the truth than you are already. I pray that you accept Jesus Christ the "one and only" messiah. You know what the Christian bible says about Israel !!! Please consider this for yourself...

by: 4Yahshua from: Fountain Valley, CA USA
December 20, 2012 1:17 AM

How about in 2012?? Many Russians are worred about 12~21~12. (Actually Xmas on the old Julian Calendar and a phase of the moon on Yahweh's Calendar!)
I believe that this has NOTHING to do with the Mayans and maybe EVERYTHING to do with their leader's plans!
The Serbian ambassador to the UN committed suicide on 12~5
in Brussells because he believed that he would not be safe on this date. (No underground bunker?)

The BIBLE= Best Instructions Before Leaving Earth!
Ezekiel 38,39, Psalm 91 SAME EVENT AT SAME TIME
Russia, Iran. and allies attack Israel AND the US!
WHO SURVIVES?? Those who believe in and are sealed in the Father and Son (Yahweh and Yahshua), Revelation 14:1

Yahshua the Messia returns SOON and no Vatican New World Order Christian CROSS can stop HIM! HalleluYah!
In Response

by: Jake from: Rancho Santa Margarita Ca
December 21, 2012 4:40 AM
Amen. God Bless you. Faith In Christ is the Only way. May we meet together with Him. Keep Faith.
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 20, 2012 6:11 PM
AMEN !!! A life in Christ has no need for an earthly bomb shelter. Good word!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs