Obama Threatens Iran a Lot, But Does He Mean It?

Analysts See Threats as 'Attempt to Show Support for Israel'

President Obama and the top figures in his administration threaten to attack Iran on a fairly regular basis, following the age old strategy of making such threats which dates back to the Reagan Administration. But is his heart in it? Analysts aren’t so sure.

Instead, they speculate that the threats to attack Iran are idle, and that they are just an “attempt to show support for Israel.” The claim is perhaps a credible one, as during the presidential debates when the subject of Israel is raised most of the candidates to replace Obama seek to prove their superior support with claims that they’re really attack Iran.

Lip-service to a war every politician with serious ambitions claims to want but which has perplexingly never happened over the decades of threats may simply be a form of cursory punctuation in America’s diplomatic short-hand toward Israel. If so it would explain why the occasional candidate who presents anything but unquestioning zeal about starting a massive war in Iran is met with immediate scorn and treated as somehow less-than-serious.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.