Some say yes: (my bold)
If they had to choose, some Gulf states would probably accept the risks of war than have to live with a nuclear-armed Iran, according to Nicole Stracke, an analyst at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai. But things are far from having reached that point, she adds. Many analysts, in her opinion, underestimate the Americans' diplomatic tangle with Iran, while overestimating the lone superpower's military and operational possibilities in the Gulf. An overhasty attack on Iran would not only endanger US allies in the Middle East, Stracke argues; it would also put the 160,000 US soldiers occupying Iraq at even greater risk, who would face direct retaliation by radical Iranian groups. Stracke doesn't believe the United States will conduct a military strike on Iran or give Israel the green light for such a strike until the direct influence of Iran in Iraq has at least been reduced.From the same article, others say no: (my bold)
Mohammed Al Naqbi at the Gulf Negotiation Centre in Abu Dhabi also believes Israel, not the United States, is preparing for war. He says the process is long past the stage of psychological warfare. "Everything is in place, from the US point of view, for a war most probably this time on Iran," says Naqbi, adding that the US administration is "sleepwalking" to its next conflict. He expects military operations to begin in March or April, shortly after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presents its next report, and in time for Admiral William Fallon, the new head of US Central Command, to get acquainted with his job.But Bush says he's only thinking about the troops:
The desire to protect American troops, rather than provoke
, was behind the steps the Iran was taking in US to counter Iranian activity there, Bush stressed. Iraq
He reaffirmed statements made by American military officials earlier this week that the elite Quds Force of
's Revolutionary Guards was behind weapons used against US soldiers in Iran , though he acknowledged he didn't know who in the Iranian leadership had directed their use. Iraq
But, he said, "We know that they [the weapons] are there … I intend to do something about it." He later said, "The idea that somehow we're manufacturing the idea that Iranians are providing IEDs [improvised explosive devices] is preposterous."
Parroting a reporter's question, he asked, "Does this mean you're trying to have a pretext for war? No, it means I'm trying to protect our troops."
Seymour Hersh a year ago:
The adviser went on, “If we go, the southern half of Iraq will light up like a candle.” The American, British, and other coalition forces in Iraq would be at greater risk of attack from Iranian troops or from Shiite militias operating on instructions from Iran. (Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, has close ties to the leading Shiite parties in Iraq.) A retired four-star general told me that, despite the eight thousand British troops in the region, “the Iranians could take Basra with ten mullahs and one sound truck.”
“If you attack,” the high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna, “Ahmadinejad will be the new Saddam Hussein of the Arab world, but with more credibility and more power. You must bite the bullet and sit down with the Iranians.”The diplomat went on, “There are people in Washington who would be unhappy if we found a solution. They are still banking on isolation and regime change. This is wishful thinking.” He added, “The window of opportunity is now.”