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...that advocates of an attack on Iran today would be exchanging a theoretical nightmare - an Iran with nukes - for an actual nightmare: A potentially out-of-control conventional war raging across the Middle East that could cost the lives of thousands Iranians, Israelis, Gulf Arabs and even American servicemen.
If I were a member of the Iranian regime (and I'm not), I would take this assassination program to mean that the West is entirely uninterested in any form of negotiation (not that I, the regime official, has ever been much interested in dialogue with the West) and that I should double-down and cross the nuclear threshold as fast as humanly possible. Once I do that, I'm North Korea, or Pakistan: An untouchable country.
The attack today certainly looks like an Israeli hit, especially when top Israelis themselves have warned that "unnatural" events were about to befall Iran. At this point, circumstantial evidence is all we can go on.
That, and the answer to the ancient Latin question: Cui bono? Who benefits? (Check out Commentary, the neocon website that is celebrating the murder.)
In theory, at least, the Netanyahu government benefits. A 32-year-old Iranian nuclear scientist is dead. The opportunities for dialogue or successful multilateral negotiations diminishes. And, if Iran responds in any way, US neocons (including Congress, which will recite its AIPAC talking points) will intensify calls for war.