The world wonders if sabres are being drawn or sheathed in the Middle East as Iran and Israel challenge one another with displays of missiles and simulated plane attacks. For the second straight day Tehran sent missiles on test runs while proclaiming defiantly to the world that it will not succumb to any Western pressures. It is clear Iran’s leaders do not with to portray any sign of weakness in the face of outside demands for change. It emphasized the Shahab-3 which can go about 1,250 miles is sending a “message to our enemies.” However, Pentagon experts noted only one missile actually was launched and, apparently, a second one never got into the air.
Secretary of State Rice responded to the Iran message by saying, “we are sending a message to Iran that we will defend American interests and the interests of our allies.” The Israel Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, also sent a message that “Israel has proved in the past it is not afraid to take action when its vital security interests are at stake.”
Undoubtedly, Western Union was scurrying hither and dither delivering all these messages, but the most important one has yet to be sent. The Middle East, at this juncture in time, can not be the scene of missiles flying from one country to another without creating complete chaos in the region. Barack Obama has urged diplomatic action and, hopefully, that will be an option come January of next year.