Peter Jenkins is a former British diplomat. At one point, he was the British chief negotiator at the International Atomic Energy Agency. He is a favourite guest of television news producers – a putatively respectable apologist for the Iranian regime, obsessively anti-Israel; his odious views shrouded by his supposedly sage diplomatic chatter. Most importantly, Peter Jenkins is an anti-Semite.
Now, apart from the risks to which Robert Gates just alluded, I want to mention one which may not have occurred to you. It hadn’t to me until a month ago when I was talking to an Iranian diplomat. With a mischievous look in his eye, he reminded me that Saudi Arabia only has enough drinking water in reserve for a couple of days consumption, they are desperately dependent on the continuing operation of a number of de-salination plants. It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that what he was hinting at was that if Iran were attacked one of the first targets for retaliation would be these Saudi de-salination plants and within days, you would have millions of people in Saudi Arabia dying of thirst. There’s also of course the risk of Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon, who are said to have 40,000 rockets, attacking population centres in Israel. But personally I don’t rate that very high because the Iranians and Hezbollah know that these days the Israelis don’t practise an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, they practise ten eyes for an eye and ten teeth for a tooth. The idea that a just war requires a use of force to be proportionate seems to be a Christian notion and not a Jewish notion.