Israel’s horse in Iran’s race?

Which candidate would Israel favor the most in the upcoming Iranian Presidential contest?
It’s of course a loaded question. No candidate in Iran would wish to be seen as favored by the Islamic Republic’s perceived nemesis.
And we also should add that Israelis, particularly those analysts who follow Iran matters closely, might disagree considerably. So let’s narrow the question to refer to the current Israeli prime minister. :-}

16 thoughts on “Israel’s horse in Iran’s race?

  1. Craig

    I think this depends on whether Bibi wants an Iranian leader who will be “reasonable” or one who he could argue is so dangerous that Israel has no choice but to pre-emptively attack. I suspect Bibi would prefer the latter; he’s obviously spoiling for a fight. Anything to distract the world’s attention from Gaza and make Israel look like a victim again.

  2. Titus

    Scott, you ask about which outcome the Israeli PM would prefer and you title your piece “Israels’ horse in Iran’s race”. That is deception of the worst kind, turning a passive preference anybody may have into an implication that Israel has a horse in that race.
    What degree do you have? A PhD from a Madrassa? Or you studied with Goebbels?
    What a ridiculous post.

  3. Craig

    Titus, I don’t think there’s anything deceptive about the headline. The idea that Israel has a “horse in the race” just means that Israel has something to gain or lose in the election. Given Iran’s importance in the region and the emphasis that Netanyahu and his colleagues have been putting on their concerns over Iran’s intentions and perceived threats, it’s hardly unreasonable to think that Israel sees benefits or dangers to itself in the various possible outcomes of Iran’s presidential election. Comparing Scott to Dr. Goebbels on this point is irresponsible and childish.

  4. JohnH

    Who knows? Maybe Israel has even placed bets by funneling cash to one or more of the candidates. Iran-Contra showed that anything is possible. Let’s not forget that “it began as an operation to improve U.S.-Iranian relations, wherein Israel would ship weapons to a relatively moderate, politically influential group of Iranians; the U.S. would then resupply Israel and receive the Israeli payment.”

  5. Arnold Evans

    None of the candidates could come anywhere near the Shah’s approach to Israel, which is the only Iranian policy that Israel does not find threatening. So Israel will consider Iran its main regional enemy after the election regardless of the results.
    The biggest threat to Israel is a rapprochement between the US and Iran, so PM Netanyahu, if he thinks like I do, favors the candidate who would make it the most difficult for the US to reduce its sanctions. Right now that is Ahmadinejad.
    Iran, still hostile to Israel, but breaking out of the sanctions box is a serious threat to Israel and anyone, even Ahmadinejad is capable of accomplishing it given the amount of leverage Iran has over the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    If Israel stops settlement activity and seems to be moving towards an agreement with the Palestinians and Arabs, then that reduces the threat Iran poses to Israel even after the US accepts the failure of its its policy of attempting to strangle Iran.
    It actually doesn’t reduce the threat by much though. There is no way Israel can concede enough that the Palestinians would vote in a reasonably fair way to accept the type of outcome Israel is offering now, offered in 2000 or at any time or will ever offer.
    So in short, US policy towards Iran becomes less antagonistic and Israel’s long-term viability markedly decreases over the next two years of so, but that process is slower with a more antagonistic Iranian president such as Ahmadinejad.

  6. Anthony

    If you have read their speeches and interviews over the last couple of years you would know that they certainly favour Ahmadinejad. As one of Netanyahu’s close aids put it “He is been a gift” to Israel.

  7. Salah

    The biggest threat to Israel is a rapprochement between the US and Iran,
    I don’t know why people in denial that there is back doors between US and Iran already before the invasion of Iraq.
    Khaminie’s officials announced publicly that Iran helped US in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Gate and other US top commander official have made three meeting that ended in the blood bath in Iraq and the US made surge.
    So why then all these left behind when it comes to Iran and US relations?
    Yes there are differences between them, different goals for Iran and US, but Iranians playing their game to get as much as they could of control/ power in the region after Iraq dismantled on the hand of US that freed Iran hand in the region comparing to surrounding shaky regimes.
    One major differences between Iran and US of course Israel and her future peace as Israeli like to see. here comes Syria and Hizbollah and other dirty Iranians fingers, so US trying to seduce Iranian in Iraq and push them to leave other area for Israel to push their agenda.
    This the real drama that US have now in ME with Iran.
    Its not nuclear issue not power of Iran, its how using Iran for the best of US and Israel in ME plan.

  8. Salah

    Btw, is there some thing (one comment) vanished here?
    looks the writer have some problem of self confidence what he write in replay to some posts.

  9. Salah

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting Washington for his first official visit with U.S. President Barack Obama. A range of issues — including the future of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Israeli-Syrian talks and Iran policy — are on the table. This is one of an endless series of meetings between U.S. presidents and Israeli prime ministers over the years, many of which concerned these same issues. Yet little has changed.

    Obama is much stronger politically, but he has consistently acted with caution, particularly in the foreign policy arena. Much of his foreign policy follows from the Bush administration. He has made no major breaks in foreign policy beyond rhetoric; his policies on Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia and Europe are essentially extensions of pre-existing policy. Obama faces major economic problems in the United States and clearly is not looking for major changes in foreign policy. He understands how quickly public sentiment can change, and he does not plan to take risks he does not have to take right now.

    By George Friedman,
    Stratfor, May 18, 2009,

  10. epppie

    I think Israel’s hardliners would like nothing more than for Ahmadinejad to win. Like our hardliners, they have to have someone they can grandly hype as the ‘enemy’.

  11. epppie

    I think Israel’s hardliners would like nothing more than for Ahmadinejad to win. Like our hardliners, they have to have someone they can grandly hype as the ‘enemy’.

  12. rfjk

    When it comes to Israel George Friedman & Stratfor.com are about as reliable as DEBKA.com. It took them nearly a week to choke and puck out the hard facts of Israel’s 2006 Lebanon war that I had discerned within a few days of the war’s start. On the first day they were trumpeting Israeli triumphalism with grand armored sweeps into Beirut on the second day of a gloriously rampaging blitzkrieg that never happened. It was all rather embarrassing for them.
    I agree with the opinion expressed by some that Ahmadinejad is Israels boy. Without him the excuses for existential extremism will become much leaner, let alone the horror of Iranian leaders actually engaging the US diplomatically for more normalized relations, if not a grand bargain. Should the latter occur their corks will really blow.

  13. Salah

    Ahmadinejad is Israels boy
    Yah..same as Saddam when he entered Kuwait Israelis prayed not let him get out as requested by UN resolutions and world demand, in place Israelites have their channels that passed to Saddam to stay the course until the hummer fall on his head and his special forces. all this was uncovered after 2003 from Israelis reports and news.
    Now Ahmadinejad is Israels boy, Israelites needs him to build a case for Iran and convinced the world despite US wind of changes if that happen and Ahmadinejad stay in power this is what Israeli love to see more time for building the case for Iran.

  14. Titus

    Wait guys, we are saved!
    This changes everything, we can now sleep at night:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8076410.stm
    Cleric ‘bans’ Muslim use of nuclear weapons
    Muslims should not use weapons of mass destruction and possess them only as a deterrent, a top Islamic cleric says.
    Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa said using such weapons would violate Islamic teachings as Muslims as well as non-Muslims could be killed.
    He issued the religious ruling, or fatwa, following reports that the use of such weapons was legitimate, the state news agency MENA said.

    The grand mufti, who is state-appointed, also said it was also not allowed for Muslims to kill civilians even during a declared war.
    (I guess the last paragraph tells us how relevant and real the top part is…)

  15. alex_no

    Cleric ‘bans’ Muslim use of nuclear weapons
    Titus, that is just something Mubarak told him to say, just to please Obama before his visit to Cairo.

  16. John Goodwin

    Can anyone please tell me where and when Ahmadine-jad said he will “wipe Israel from the face of the earth?” (Or something to that effect.) I know he says God will do that, and he prays for God to do that, and that’s what he fervently wishes for.
    Wishes don’t make it so. He couldn’t do it if he wanted to! How could he? He doesn’t control the military in Iran, or formulate foreign policy. He’s a toothless tiger who loves to roar and scare
    people. He’s a great help to the Israelis in their
    scare program that petrifies so many U. S. politi-
    cians.

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