Iran: Automatic Escalation to World War III?
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 1 October 2012
by John Scales Avery – TRANSCEND Media Service
A few days ago Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh , who is in charge of the Revolutionary Guards missile systems told Iran’s Arabic-language television network that should Israel and Iran engage militarily, “nothing is predictable… and it will turn into World War III”.
He added that Iran would deem any Israeli strike to be conducted with US authorisation, so “whether the Zionist regime attacks with or without US knowledge, then we will definitely attack US bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan.”
The first point to notice is that an attack on Iran by Israel would be both criminal and insane. It would be criminal because it would be a violation of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles. It would be insane because it would initiate a conflict that might escalate in an unpredictable way. Such a conflict might easily be the start of a Third World War.
But what General Hajizadeh proposes in his statement is perhaps even more criminal and even more insane.
Let us suppose that Netanyahu’s and his government carry through their irresponsible plan of attacking Iran. If Iran then responds by attacking US bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan, then the escalation of the conflict would be absolutely automatic. US leaders would then have no choice. They would be forced to respond by attacking Iran, despite the danger that Russia, China and Pakistan would be drawn into the conflict on the side of Iran.
One is reminded of the start of World War I, when a small conflict started by Austria to punish the Serbian Panslavic Movement escalated into a global disaster which still casts a shadow over the world almost a century later. The difference between 1914 and 2012 is that today we possess all-destroying thermonuclear weapons. A new world war could lead to the destruction of human civilization and much of the biosphere.
Netanyahu is unquestionably a madman. Must we allow the actions of one insane person to start a conflict that could lead to the deaths of ourselves and our children?
John Scales Avery, Ph.D. is a member of the TRANSCEND Network and Associate Professor Emeritus at the H.C. Ørsted Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He received his training in theoretical physics and theoretical chemistry at M.I.T., the University of Chicago and the University of London. He is the author of numerous books and articles both on scientific topics and on broader social questions. His most recent book is “Crisis 21: Civilization’s Crisis in the 21st Century.”
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 United States License.