Donald Macintyre: An attack on Iran? It's a hawkish fantasy

Share
Related Topics

Could superhawk John Bolton be guilty of wishful thinking? Within hours of the Bulgarian attack the former US ambassador to the UN was on Fox News predicting that Israel would respond to the killing of five of its citizens by attacking Revolutionary Guard facilities in Iran itself.

As a Republican who thinks that Israel should have long ago bombed Iran's nuclear installations, Mr Bolton sounded positively excited by the escalation that would be triggered by such a reprisal. But will it happen like that?

Certainly there is a link between the strong language again used by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, yesterday to describe "the most dangerous state on earth" and his determination to stop Iran becoming a nuclear military power. Which is to use the Bulgaria attack as yet another means to impress upon the international community what kind of regime, as he sees it, would have a nuclear weapon if it is allowed to get it. It's because he doesn't think his allies yet "get it" that he has – ominously – refused to take the unilateral military option off the table.

But it is far less clear that even a political duo as preoccupied with Iran as Mr Netanyahu and his Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, would regard the Bulgaria attack, rather than Tehran's progress towards a nuclear weapon, as the right casus belli.

According to one Israeli official yesterday, a likelier model for retaliation might be the painstaking – though not always correctly targeted – hunting down, man by man, of the killers of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munch Olympics 40 years ago.

Israel purports to have, or to be confident of getting, the intelligence needed for such an operation. In a volatile region, nothing is certain today. But that remains a likelier outcome of the Burgas bombing than the immediate conflagration Mr Bolton appears to want.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + ?110 - 130: Randstad Education Reading: English Teacher ...

KS2 Teacher with SEN responsibilities

£115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: KS2 teacher with SEN responsibi...

Administrative Assistant

£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...

Web Application Support Manager

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Young Syrian refugees gather around a small fire at the Minieh camp in Lebanon  

Cameron and Obama may want to ‘destroy’ Isis, but what will they do about the growing number of refugees fleeing Iraq and Syria?

Kate Allen
“You're running away!” Nick said to me the other night as I tried to leave the hospital  

In Sickness and in Health: ‘There’s nothing I want more than to have you at home, but you’re not well’

Rebecca Armstrong
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments