U Of C Prof: Israel’s Threats Against Iran Are Posturing

CHICAGO (CBS) — An outspoken University of Chicago political scientist says talk of deploying bombs over Iran is really an effort to secure tougher international sanctions against that country.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, political science professor John Mearsheimer says Israel does not have the refueling capacity for support an attack on Iranian nuclear sites.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

“Secondly, it appears that the Israelis do not have the bombs that are necessary to penetrate deep enough into the ground to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability,” Mearsheimer said.

Mearsheimer says while the U.S. has supplied Israel with deep penetrating bunker buster bombs, it hasn’t provided the biggest ones needed to attack Iran’s Fordo uranium enrichment facility dug into a mountain near the holy city of Qum.

Mearsheimer says even absent an attack, talk of one has a point.

“Many people believe that what the Israelis are doing is they’re threatening war for the purpose of getting us to toughen the sanctions against Iran,” he said.

He says Israel knows it could not delivery an effective attack without U.S. support.

Mearsheimer adds that a careful reading of Iranian statements shows leaders are not, in fact, threatening a nuclear attack on Israel at all. Instead, he said, they are predicting that the Israeli government would disappear as did the earlier governments of the Soviet Union and Iran.

Mearsheimer is an international relations expert, and the author of Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics. He is also the author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics and the co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, with Harvard University international affairs professor Stephen Walt.

  • Jack

    The Israelis shouldn’t get everyone’s hopes up without following through!!!

  • THEE Yard Ape

    I hope Israel has the ba llz to take care of business, because the US certainly does NOT !!!

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/?p=254437 Durbin Hopes Sanctions Will Solve Israel-Iran Conflict « CBS Chicago

    […] Earlier this week, University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer said the threats again… He said Israel does not have the refueling capacity for support an attack on Iranian nuclear sites. […]

  • Kafantaris

    Iran faces a delicate issue.  On the one hand it wants to show the world all its got and put it at ease, while on the other hand it fears that such show ‘n tell will give its enemies a road map to bomb it.
    Saddam Hussein faced a similar dilemma ten years ago. Though he wanted the world to know he had nothing to hide, he also wanted to bluff his archenemy Iran into believing that Iraq still had WMD. 
    Bluffing did not go well for Saddam, and it might not go well for Amadijan. 
    But since the price tag for ridding Saddam proved so high, maybe we ought to reflect what we are asking of Iran now.  On the eve of a threat to attack it, we are asking it to take us to the depths of its arsenal and show us all it’s got.  
    Such great expectations are a sign we have been talking to our friends too long and are in  need of a broader perspective. 
    Exactly when was the last time we asked Pakistan, India, China or Russia to show us their arsenal?
    “But those countries are not advocating the destruction of Israel,” you say. 
    True, but Israel is not a thorn on their side either.  
    Surely, however, we can see beyond Iran’s hyperboles and figure out their underlying purpose.  Or have we forgotten that not all Iranians are thrilled with Amadijan?  
    He sure has not forgotten that he is not loved in Iran. 
    Nor has he forgotten that that his countrymen hate Israel even more. So he tells them that Israel will be wiped from the face of the earth. 
    Expectantly, this nonsense unites them against a common enemy. It even becomes a diversion from the misery and isolation brought on by the theocratic regime. 
    Quite Clever work by Amadijan — and not a rial spent or a bullet fired. 
    So why are we letting this crazy talk about destroying Israel get us all worked-up — and to the point of turning the world topsy-turvy again.
    Can we not see the desperate attempts of an unpopular regime simply trying to hold on to power?

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