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May 9, 2008 Iran prepares for a US attack
Beating the Drums of a Broader Middle East War
Israel, Syria, and Lebanon Prepare the "Home Fronts"

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Global Research, May 7, 2008

The Levant could be the starting point of a major
international conflict with global ramifications and which
could quickly spin out of control. Such a conflict could
even involve the use of Israeli or American nuclear weapons
against Iran and Syria. Syria has additionally declared that
it is preparing for an inevitable war with Israel despite
the fact that it believes that the chances of a war in 2008
are slim.

In the scenario of a war against Iran, the reaction of Syria
will be pivotal. Damascus plays a central role and how it
acts and reacts will have a definitive impact on Israeli
military strategy in regards to Iran. It is in this context
that Israel, the U.S. and the E.U., with the help of Saudi
Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, have been attempting to undermine
and ultimately destroy the alliance between Syria and Iran.
This is part of a geo-strategic stride to foreclose the
possibility of a Mediterranean battle-front that might
emerge in the Levant as a result of an attack on Iran.
The casus belli for an Israeli attack or a joint
Israeli-U.S. attack, possibly involving NATO, against Syria
or against both Syria and Iran could use the pretext of any
form of retaliation by Hezbollah against Israel for the
assassination in Damascus of one of its leaders, Imad Fayez

Hezbollah has joined Iranian officials in saying that the
U.S. military is incapable of starting another war in the
Middle East by launching attacks on Iran and Syria. [1]
Israeli officials have also renewed calls for peace by
openly mentioning that Tel Aviv is willing to return the
Golan Heights back to the Syrians, while there have been
strong political noises against the move in Israel. [2]

Tel Aviv is simultaneously part of a U.S. endeavour that
claims Syria has a secret nuclear program aided by North
Korea. [3] Strategic efforts, with strong links to war
preparations, have also started with the aim of bringing
temporary calm to the Palestinian Territories as part of the
same track of events in the Levant.

Redrawing the Arab-Israeli Conflict as an Iranian-Israeli
Conflict to justify War

Momentum is being built up against Iran in a list of growing
, and more frequent, accusations against Tehran.

Iran is portrayed as the main threat against Israel. It is
also accused of intervening in occupied Iraq and
Afghanistan. In this sense, the Israeli-U.S. war plans in
the Levant have been tied to Iran, as well as Syria. The
investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize
winner, reported in 2006 that the Israeli war ag ainst
Lebanon was part of this Israeli-U.S. military roadmap to
ultimately target Iran.

The accusations against Tehran and Damascus are part of a
calculated effort to justify attacks against Iran and Syria
as the only means to achieve peace in the Levant between
Israel and the Arabs. They are also upheld as justification
to ensure the security and success of occupation forces, for
Anglo-American and NATO forces respectively in Iraq and

In this regard, the Gaza Strip, alongside Lebanon, is now
being described by Tel Aviv as an “Iranian base” against
Israel. Israel is pointing the finger more and more towards
Tehran as the source of its problems.

This argument is fabricated. It is in blatant contradiction
with the history of the Palestinian struggle. The inner
causes and history of the Arab-Israeli Conflict are now
being brushed aside and ignored. The Arab-Israeli Conflict
is now being redefined as a mere existential conflict between Israel
and a few irrational and violent Arab organizations controlled by Tehran.

All players, state or non-state, have rational interests and
motives. All actions are also based on these interests and
motives. Any analysis without the mention of these interests
seeks to sidestep specific issues. By portraying the Arabs
as inherently violent, the truth is being sidestepped
without explaining the full rationale for their attacks
against Israel.

This brushing aside of motives is part of a disinformation
campaign, which is used to camouflage the truth. The
historical facts of the Arab-Israeli Conflict are being
redrawn with a view to presenting Tehran as having always
been in the picture as a spoiler and a source of the
Arab-Israeli Conflict. The motives for this agenda are to
justify the outbreak of a conflict with Iran.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict is being redrawn as an
Iranian-Israeli Conflict, where the Arabs are portrayed as
Iran92s foot soldiers against Tel Aviv.

Turning the Tide of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Iranian
Arms Shipments to the Levant

Although there have been reports of Iranian arm shipments to
the Palestinians and Lebanon since the downfall of the
Iranian monarchy, these reports had new value given to them
after 2001.

The first such report to note came on January 3, 2002 when
the Karine-A was intercepted en route in the Red Sea by
Israeli naval commandos. Sceptics questioned how an
undeclared arms shipment could pass through the heavily U.S.
and NATO patrolled waters of the Red Sea. The Israeli
capture made international headlines in 2002 as the Israelis
revealed that the ship was carrying a major weapons cache
headed for the Gaza Strip. A whole set of indicting links
were made between the ship and the Palestinian Liberation
Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), and
Iran. The Israelis maintained that the ships carg o came from
an Iranian sea port in the Persian Gulf. The event was used
not only to draw attention to Tehran as a problem in the
Levant, but also by Tel Aviv as a part of the effort
underway to portray Yasser Arafat as not being a genuine
partner for peace.

Hezbollah and Syria have also been armed and supplied by
Iran for years. Although neither the Lebanese nor Syria
would attack Israel unless attacked, invaded, or occupied.

Aside from what it already possesses, Israel can no longer
annex Arab territory any more than it has. Nor can Israel
project itself as it once did. This is a major problem for
establishing a new regional order. Iranian arms shipments
and military aid have upset both strategic Anglo-American
and Israeli interests in the Middle East. Arguably this has
necessitated even more active involvement by America and
Britain militarily in the Middle East.

After 2005 the Israeli claims about Iranian arms supplies to
the Palestinians increased even more with the establishment
of a Hamas-led government in the Palestinian Territories.
After 2006, the reports concerning Iranian arms shipments to
Hezbollah started carrying a sense of urgency that they
never had before. The upgrades being made to the Syrian
military were also looked upon at as provocative and
inappropriate, even though the Israeli military had further
upgraded and modernized its military arsenal.

In 2007 and 2008, the Israelis reported that Iran has
increased its weapons shipments to the Palestinians. The
Jerusalem Post made one such claim on April 17, 2008: “In
recent months, the IDF has noticed an increase in
Iranian-made weaponry in the Gaza Strip, including rockets
and mortars. Terror groups [meaning the Palestinian
Resistance] in Gaza recently were equipped by [Tehran] with
two different types of mortar shells made in Iran — one 120
mm with a range of 10 kilometers like a Kassam rocket and
another with a range of six kilometers.