Global Politics

Israel reaction to Iranian missile tests

On the streets of Jerusalem today, reaction amongst Israelis was mixed. (Have you noticed any sense of alarm in Jerusalem?) I don't think there's any particular sense of alarm here. The Israeli government are concerned by these developments and I think Israel at one point may seriously consider military action, but for now it's just rhetoric. (Iranians are being told that a war could be imminent. Is there any sign among US or Israeli officials that they intend to strike in some way now?) I think there have been a whole series of signals sent in recent weeks and months: a demonstration of Israeli military air strikes, some statements and exchanges�and these are all signals to Iran. But I don't think there has been any obvious sign of a move to military action. (What is the balance of military might between Iran and Israel?) I don't think Iranian missiles could defeat Israel's anti-missile systems, but there's no room for complacency. Some long range missiles could get through, albeit unlikely and the damage would most likely be containable. (How about US warships in the area?) Striking warships particular in coastal waters is not difficult�Hezbollah was able to almost sink an Israeli warship two summers ago. So the Pentagon is not discounting this threat, but they question Iran's ability to sustain that kind of activity over a long period of time. The grim reality is that if Iran did strike a boat in the Gulf, the Gulf would be closed a shipping route, shipping prices would go through the roof, and we all what that's going to mean for oil prices. So that suggests another set of reasons of why the US would be telling Israel to hold off military strikes against Iran.

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