Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Israel changing tact with Iran?

There has really only been one train of thought when considering the future of the relationship between Israel and Iran. At some stage you pretty much take it for granted there's going to be some sort of conflict. It just seems inevitable, until now.

83-year-old Ministry of Defense adviser Uri Lubrani who was ambassador to Iran from 1973 to 1978.

"Mr. Lubrani has for four decades been on the front lines of Israel's evolving relationship with Iran—from close ally to bitter foe. For much of that time, he warned that Iran's theocratic regime posed the Mideast's biggest threat, a view overlooked for years.

Heading Israeli government activities in Lebanon since 1983, he was one of the first to warn of Iran's growing influence among the country's Shiites. His recommendations were largely neglected and Hezbollah soon emerged as one of Israel's most potent foes.

"Lubrani was one of the few, the very few, to identify that Israel should find a way to the Shiites before Iran did," recalls retired Brig. Gen. Shimon Shapira, who was an intelligence officer in Lebanon at the time."

More recently, as Iran's nuclear program grew and Washington and Israel hardened their views, Mr. Lubrani's calls to support what appeared to be a beaten-down opposition seemed out of touch."

But clearly now they are starting to listen as the recent elections highlighted a genuine will in the opposition, and support.

"Today, Israel's political and military establishment appears to be tilting toward one of his long-ignored views: Israeli support for Iran's opposition movement—and not a miltary [sic] strike—is the best way to combat the regime in Tehran."


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