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HOW AND WHEN ISRAEL SHOULD BOMB IRAN

IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin: 'Israel Doesn't Need America - IDF Has Capability To Knock Out Iranian Nuclear Installations With 95% Probability Of Success’

'Israel's First Round Would Be Limited To Surgical Attack On Nuclear Facilities With No Damage To Iranian Economy or Population'

IsraCast Assessment: Yadlin's Analysis Indicates In Israel 'All Systems Are Go' If Current Nuclear Talks Fail To Produce Results By Late 2013 Or Early 2014

Israeli Air Force F-16 (wikimedia commons)

 How and when might Israel launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear weapons sites? For the first time, a retired Israeli general has disclosed military details that have remained under wraps. In an interview with the New Republic magazine, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin told correspondent Ben Birnbaum that Israel should give a chance for the current nuclear talks between the 5P+1, but if President Hassan Rouhani starts stalling again, he supports Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's position that Israel should go it alone without the U.S. Yadlin has served as the former head of IDF Intelligence and was one of the eight Israeli pilots who bombed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor, before it went 'hot' in 1981. (At the time, the Reagan Administration joined the rest of the world in condemning Israel but later lauded Israel for preventing the Iraqi tyrant from getting his hands on an A-bomb.) But the former fighter pilot is no super hawk. On the contrary. In the public debate, Yadlin bucked Netanyahu and former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who were reportedly in favor of not waiting any longer. (It is still uncertain whether this was really the two leaders' position or whether they were really trying to ramp up international sanctions on Iran.)

 Beware late 2013 or early 2014...

Tehran's strategy is that an operational A-bomb will spell game over! The international community will lift the sanctions and agree to co-exist with a nuclear-armed Iran.

 But now Yadlin agrees with Netanyahu; the Ayatollahs who have threatened to wipe the Jewish state off the map, are 'very close' to producing their first nuclear weapon. With their new and improved centrifuges, it could be only a matter of weeks or several months before they could produce enough weapons grade uranium for their first A-bomb. Yadlin, who is certainly in the Israeli loop, believes it might take the Iranians more time to complete the weaponization process. So Yadlin, who until now favored holding off on Iran, has changed course. In his view, although the sanctions have crippled Iran's economy, the regime has been willing to stick it out. Tehran's strategy is that an operational A-bomb will spell game over! The international community will lift the sanctions and agree to co-exist with a nuclear-armed Iran. Moreover, no one will dare mess with Iran, as is the case with its ally, North Korea. But Israel could not live with a nuclear Iran, and if the Iranians again give the run-around, there would be no choice but to strike: "I think in late 2013 or early 2014, especially if America sees that Iran is not serious about reaching an acceptable agreement.” And the General left no doubt about Israel's military: "Israel doesn't need America on D-Day. It can do it alone.”

 

 Ninety-five percent probability of success...

 Yadlin was confident the IDF operation has a 95% probability of successfully taking out the nuclear weapons installations. IDF planners had found ways to minimize the risks and to find a proper operational solution to every negative event and operational scenario that could develop. He took issue with those who said Israel couldn't do it (including the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey):

‘The first round would be a limited to a surgical attack on nuclear facilities. There will be no damage to the Iranian economy or Iranian population'.

 “The same people also thought we couldn't destroy the Arab air forces in '67. They thought we couldn't make it to Entebbe and free the hostages in 1976. They thought it was impossible to strike the reactor in Iraq. They thought we couldn't destroy the Syrian (Soviet supplied) air defenses in the Beqaa valley in 1982. There's a lot they thought we couldn't do. The first round would be a limited to a surgical attack on nuclear facilities. There will be no damage to the Iranian economy or Iranian population."

 Moreover, if the Iranians mounted a strong retaliation, which Yadlin doubted, Israel would then hit back at Iran's oil facilities and gas pipelines, their air force, navy, leadership, everything. 

 

 Reading between the lines....

Saudi Arabia and most of the other Gulf states are...dismayed over Obama's lack of leadership in confronting Iran...

 Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, and Ehud Barak before him have all stated categorically that Israel will not acquiesce in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. At the same time, there is a school of thought that contends that Israel is bluffing and would not dare attack Iran without a green light from Washington. This may apply at the outset of the latest round of nuclear talks with Iran, but as Yadlin also said, if in the coming months President Barack Obama sees that Rouhani is only trying to buy more time, the U.S. would not be inclined to castigate Israel. However, the tenor of Yadlin's remarks tends to exclude the possibility that the U.S. will itself exercise its military option against Iran in the foreseeable future. As previously noted by IsraCast, Israel and Iran are running on different nuclear clocks. The Jewish state could be within Iran's nuclear crosshairs within the next half-year, while the U.S. is still several years away from being targeted by an Iranian inter-continental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead (according to U.S. intelligence estimate). Saudi Arabia and most of the other Gulf states are showing signs they are dismayed over Obama's lack of leadership in confronting Iran, letting Syria's President Hafez Assad get way with chemical weapons murder against his own people and favoring the former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a radical Islamist leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. In their view, and rightly so, the Brotherhood is akin to al Qaeda and the Taliban whereas Egyptian leader, Gen. Sami al Sisi is pro-Western. 

If the 5P+1 ease the sanctions and let Rouhani stonewall, it would likely trigger a well-planned Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear weapons project.

 In addition, Yadlin's candid and detailed assessment of the current situation indicated that Israel is both prepared and confident that it can take on Iran, if need be. This should also be noted by the U.S. and the other powers, if they start thinking of giving into Iran's demands to start lifting the sanctions when they meet again in November. If the 5P+1 ease the sanctions and let Rouhani stonewall, it would likely trigger a well-planned Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear weapons project. This was not a threat; Yadlin simply indicated that Israel would have no reasonable choice to act in self-defense against a very real and present danger.  

 

 

 David Essing

 

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