There will be no attack on Iran’s nuke sites, pt. XXIV


Occasionally, Israeli officials do let slip indications that their
fears of Iran are less extreme than the “second holocaust” rhetoric
would indicate. Last November, Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh
explained candidly in an interview with the Jerusalem Post that the
fear was not that such weapons would be launched against Israel but
that the existence of nuclear capability would interfere with Israel’s
recruitment of new immigrants and cause more Israelis to emigrate to
other countries.

Sneh declared that Ahmadinejad could “kill the Zionist dream
without pushing a button. That’s why we must prevent this regime from
obtaining nuclear capability at all costs.”

Israel’s frequent threat to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities
is also at odds with its internal assessment of the feasibility and
desirability of such an attack. It is well understood in Israel that
the Iranian situation does not resemble that of Iraq’s Osiris nuclear
reactor, which Israeli planes bombed in 1981. Unlike Iraq’s programme,
which was focused on a single facility, the Iranian nuclear programme
is dispersed; the two major facilities, Natanz and Arak, are hundreds
of miles apart, making it very difficult to hit them simultaneously.

In mid-2005, Yossi Melman, who covers intelligence issues for the daily
newspaper Haaretz, wrote, “According to military experts in Israel and
elsewhere, the Israel Air Force does not have the strength that is
needed to destroy the sites in Iran in a preemptive strike…” He added
that that the awareness of that reality was “trickling down to the
military-political establishment”.


POLITICS: Israeli Realism on Iran Belies Threat Rhetoric

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