Very significant article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker this week, claiming that the Bush administration has authorised covert operations against Iran.
The War in Iraq was always bound to make a confrontation between Iran and the US more likely.
Increasing Shi’ite power in Iraq has strengthen Iranian influence there. The defeat of Saddam Hussein has also removed a buffer between Iran and its Syrian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies.
On the other hand, the US intervention in Iraq will only make Iran more determined to acquire nuclear weapons.
All of these developments will alarm Israel. In the past, Israel has launched pre-emptive strikes in similar circumstances, such as the one on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981.
However, Iran could be a much more formidable foe, as a recent Asia Times article by Kaveh L. Afrasiabi made clear.
A conflict with Iran would threaten oil exports from the Gulf, especially if there’s any truth in the rumour that Iran has acquired Russian Sunburn missiles.