Los Angeles Times

Keeping Israel-Iran threat in perspective

When gauging Iran's threat to Israel, its important to remember that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's proclamations about "wiping Israel off the map" have been rebutted by Ayatollah Khamenei, who as Supreme Leader of Iran has more authority than the president and more influence on foreign policy ("Nuclear saber-rattling," Feb. 6).

But Israel knows this, of course, just as surely as it knows that the Iranian leadership is not crazy or suicidal and so wouldn't attack Israel with nuclear weapons even if it could or wanted to. With the existential threat fig leaf stripped away, the bullying behind Israel's saber-rattling becomes plain to see.

Also, remember that President Barack Obama allowed the sale of bunker-buster bombs to Israel — the kind needed to reach underground nuclear facilities — which gave Israel the credibility to threaten and bluster.

I can't help but suspect that our enabling of Israel's pugnacious behavior is neither accidental or unrelated to our sanctions program against Iran. Never mind that threats and punishments will likely encourage Iran to double down on its own credible means of military ambiguity.

John G. Bailey, Edgemere

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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