Sudan attack demonstrates new U.S.-Israel counter-Iran policy

two key policies of Kissinger, after he left academia and joined the Nixon administration, were détente with the Soviet union and the opening to China. Both policies, Kissinger explained, were aimed at turning the Soviet Union and China from revolutionary to status quo powers by offering them greater stakes in the current international order.

Iran is a revolutionary power. It uses revolutionary means to change the balance of power and benefits in the region in its favor. One method is destabilizing pro-American regimes. It arms and trains Hezbollah so that it could be a counterweight to the elected government of Lebanon. It arms and equips Hamas so it could undermine the Palestinian Authority. Iran supports Shi’a groups in the Gulf sheikdoms in order to keep the latter on their toes. Iran is also publicly committed to the destruction of another state in the region — Israel — and is assiduously working to acquire the means to do so.

The means Iran has chosen with which to pursue its policies also deviate from accepted international practices. It is a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), yet it invests billions of dollars and is willing to suffer the consequences of economic sanctions — both decisions that have deleterious effect on the country’s economic and social development — in order to pursue nuclear weapons. It supports and arms domestic militias in other countries aiming to undermine the authority of elected governments. Iran not only supports terrorist groups — its operatives engage in terrorism themselves. Thus, in response to a 1992 killing by Israel of Sheikh Abbas Mussawi, a top Hezbollah leader, Iranian operatives, on 17 March 1992, blew up the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring 250. Two years later, on 18 July 1994, Iranian intelligence operatives blew up the office of the Jewish Mutual Society in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds.

The post-Gaza check-Iran policy
Which brings us back to Gaza, and to the determination of the Obama administration to present Iran with starker choices. The administration said on several occasions that it wanted better relations with Iran. At the same time, the administrations shows greater readiness to confront Iran on the ground and curtail its influence in the Middle East.

One result of the Gaza operation has been a greater determination by Israel and the United States to prevent Iran from rearming Hamas. Already during the three-week Gaza campaign, Israel used advanced bunker-busting bombs — of the kind