I have been studying this question for several years. Israel could destroy the major assets of Iran's civilian nuclear program (58 years old). It cannot destroy Iran's capability to make nuclear weapons, short of a nuclear attack so large as to set Iran back economically 50 or 75 years. And that would be the end of Israel within a decade or less. Iran presently has about 620 missiles that can reach Israel, each capable of carrying 1, 3, or 5 warheads. (Not the 35 that Bibi and allies repeatedly claimed.) Israel could fire all of its Arrow II interceptors and only stop a small fraction of these. Iranian missiles have been made more and more accurate, and now Iran could fire 20% of their long-range missiles and bring down the overstretched Israel power grid for 3-6 months. Iran might also briefly close Hormuz for a few weeks on one or another pretext, like an Israeli sub attack. Such an attack would cause Israel $50 billion or more economic harm, but perhaps only kill 100 Israelis, and be within the rules of war. The developed world might have $200 billion or more economic damage even if Hormuz was closed a couple of weeks, and would be unlikely to write Israel an enormous check. And what is to prevent Iran from repeating the attack in six months? There was good reason why the heads of IDF, Mossad, and Shin Bet refused to go forward, reportedly three times. And what about Israel claiming that Iran was six months from a bomb for the last 21 years. Doesn't that sound astonishingly stupid? Iran passed the "red line" about 2005. If Iran really wanted the bomb they would have had it years ago. (Or, alternatively, they already have it, I admit.) Bibi should adopt another obsession, possibly knitting.
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from the article: How Shimon Peres stopped Israel from bombing Iran
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