How to Stop Iran - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Anthony Rusonik
    • 10.01.11 | 00:38 (IST)

    Supporters of Israel and the West often champion sanctions as the tonic to arrest the supreme evil of a nuclear armed Iran. Consider “Bringing Tehran to its Knees” (National Post January 4, 2011) Millitary options are dismissed, as much for the anticipated diplomatic backlash as for the dim prospect to fly twice the distance of Osiraq in Iraq over hostile regimes to destroy multiple reactors hardened to twice the depth and strength of the single reactor the IAF destroyed in 1981. Never, however, is it allowed that enhanced deterrence is a military option, and the best one available to to safeguard the West and Israel against Iranian nuclear ambitions, as well as the conventional Iranian regional threat that is often overlooked but far more real. Yet, as the “Bringing Tehran to its Knees” authors unwittingly admit, only in circumstances where Iran’s leaders realize they cannot win and persistence will threaten the regime will the Ayatollahs change course. How “cannot win” is equated with Iran battling sanctions as opposed to facing an overwhelming deterrent is not clear. In the unlikely event that Iran opts to quit its nuclear program as a result of sanctions, what is to prevent Tehran’s regional ambitions and export of the Islamic Revolution via proxy support of Hezbollah against Israel and a secular government in Lebanon ? How will sanctions prevent the development of Iranian ballistic missiles with conventional warheads ? Sanctions offer little here but a false sense of security for, even if effective to purpose, the curtailment of Iran’s nuclear ambitions will have no impact on Iran’s regional ambitions. What, then, can the West and Israel do ? They can proceed on multiple tracks. First, re-ignite the Arab-Israeli peace process with a real sense of what Israel might be prepared to concede to deflate Hezbollah, Hamas and thus Iran. Turkey’s defection from Israel’s alliances is a major blow. It is conceivable that Ankara’s drift towards Iran might cease with real progress on the Palestinian front. Second, covert efforts to analyze and penetrate Iran’s command and control structures of a nuclear technology which cannot be repealed will be far more effective than misuse of airpower and excessive risk to pilots. This is already proven with the Stuxnet virus. Third and foremost, Israel must commit to a deterrent and assured second strike posture. The Iron Dome and Arrow Anti-Ballistic systems must be the cornerstone investment of Israel’s defense for the next generation. It is bizarre that the Israeli government has hesitated to fund these or appeal to its allies for help, even as it strives to acquire multi-billion dollar F-35 strike aircraft. In the same way, it boggles the mind to learn that Israel cancelled a deal for nuclear capable submarines from Germany due to cost considerations. Submarines are the surest Second-strike guarantees, and thus the most effective deterrents. None of this is lost on Iran, which must be further emboldened by the fact that Jerusalem has yet to declare that a ballistic attack on Tel Aviv from Lebanon (or Gaza) shall be considered an attack from Iran. This is a perilous oversight by the Israelis, for why wouldn’t Ahmadinejad fight the Jews to the last Lebanese or Palestinian

    from the article: How will Israel's new strategic leadership deal with Iran?
    First published 00:38 09.01.11 | Last updated 00:38 09.01.11
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