An Israeli strike against Iran would have “disastrous” consequences, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on Saturday, adding the world remains silent on Israel’s reported nuclear armament while threatening Iran over its peaceful program.
The comments, made to reporters while making the journey back from an official visit to Iran, came after on Wednesday the Turkish PM said that “no one has the right to impose anything on anyone with regards to nuclear energy, provided that it is for peaceful purposes.”
The always-impending Israeli/American “attack” on Iran both isn’t happening and is already happening, and that is its eternal utility.
Since it’s not happening, statesmen like Erdogan can keep welding together their hegemony with nationalist anti-imperialist sentiment by appearing to defy imperial policy on Iran. In Iran proper, a country scared for its survival is one in which it citizens are less likely to engage in labor mobilization or agitate for more democracy. In America, Obama can appear to be fending off the Israel lobby even while putting in place sanctions intended to cut Iran off from the world. And in Europe, the leadership of the EU states, unwilling to provide anything for their citizenry economically, can put in place sanctions slowly while meanwhile placating their populations with the fact that there’s no war yet.
But then there is the fact that the war has already started: the US has set up a system of sanctions against countries which buy Iranian oil, and has used this system to get 10 European Union countries, as well as Japan, to cut their oil purchases from Iran. For that reason, they will not be sanctioned. Other countries have 3 months before sanctions set in. China, India, Turkey, South Africa, and South Korea are among the major purchasers of Iranian oil. Erdogan’s posturing may be an attempt to secure the domestic political space to reduce Turkish oil imports from Iran, while South African oil imports from Iran shot up in February while China categorically rejects US pressure or influence on its oil sourcing.
When someone discusses whether or not Obama or Netanyahu will attack Iran, two things always should be kept in mind: there is next to no chance that an Israeli leader will do anything without an implied American green light, and America is already attacking Iran, and the currently unmeetable challenge is to get it to stop doing so.
[h/t Yoshie for sources]