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Will the Iranian Threat Go Away? (Podcast)

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi with a Vafa rocket launcher, with a range of almost 20 kilometers.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi with a Vafa rocket launcher, with a range of almost 20 kilometers.

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When Bibi Netanyahu addressed the U.N. and challenged the world to take a tough stance on Iran, his call to draw a red line met with comments on his artistic ability and mixed reviews on his political insights.

One can argue that the Europeans take the threat of Iran seriously. The European Union imposed its toughest sanctions on Iran to date with the hope that the economic effects of the sanctions will force the country’s Islamic government to give up its nuclear ambitions. However, without the backing of a threat of military action, the EU’s sanctions may not have much deterrence value against Iran.

America’s stance on Iran isn’t clearly drawn either. I recently spoke with Professor Alan Dershowitz, attorney and political commentator on the subject of Iran and its relationship with the West. Professor Dershowitz believes that, “President Obama means it when he says that he will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, but he’s being undercut terribly by J. Street, which claims to be a pro-Israel organization.”

Furthermore, Professor Dershowitz does not think that sanctions, such as those adopted by Europe, are necessarily effective: “I think sanctions alone will never work, but sanctions combined with a credible military threat could work, but it has to be a credible military threat.”

However, this is not so simple either. In the interview, Professor Dershowitz adds, “The United States doesn’t want Israel to unilaterally attack Iran. It’s concerned about what the implications would be both for Israel and for the international community. I think it’s very clear the United States government doesn’t want Israel to attack Iran. Israel doesn’t want to attack Iran except as an absolute last resort. … I think Iran will stop its development of nuclear weapons only if it believes it will be attacked by the United States.”

So what’s the answer? How will the Iranian threat go away? Watch this video of my interview with Professor Alan Dershowitz to find out more.

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About the Author: Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd, a financial planning firm located in Jerusalem. He specializes in working with clients in New York, Florida, and Israel and is a licensed financial professional both in the U.S. and Israel. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, SIFMA. Accounts held at Pershing LLC., Member NYSE/SIPC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Neither Profile nor PRG gives tax or legal advice. Before immigrating to Israel, it is advisable to consult with a tax attorney who is knowledgeable about Israeli law. Doug’s newest book The Expatriates’ Guide to Handling Money and Taxes is available at www.expatguidetomoney.com. He hosts a weekly finance show, Goldstein on Gelt, on internet radio. Listen live or download podcasts. Toll-free from U.S. 1-888-327-6179, Jerusalem: (02) 624-2788. Follow on Twitter: @DougGoldstein or contact at doug@profile-financial.com.


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