Skip to comments.Israel Would Not Be Able to Destroy Iran's Nuclear Program
Posted on 09/27/2004 2:33:26 PM PDT by NativeNewYorker
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel would not be able to destroy Iran's nuclear installations with a single air strike as it did in Iraq in 1981 because they are scattered or hidden and intelligence is weak, Israeli and foreign analysts say.
Israeli leaders have implied they might use force against Iran if international diplomatic efforts or the threat of sanctions fail to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said this month Israel is "taking measures to defend itself" - a comment that raised concern Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike along the lines of its 1981 bombing of an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak near Baghdad.
Speculation has also been fueled by recent Israeli weapons acquisitions, including bunker-buster bombs and long-range fighter-bombers.
Israel's national security adviser, Giora Eiland, was quoted Monday by the Maariv daily as saying Iran will reach the "point of no return" in its nuclear weapons program by November rather than next year as Israeli military officials said earlier.
Concern about Tehran's nuclear development intensified last week when Iran's Vice President Reza Aghazadeh said Iran has started converting raw uranium into the gas needed for enrichment, an important step in making a nuclear bomb.
The declaration came in defiance of a resolution passed three days earlier by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, demanding Iran freeze all uranium enrichment - including conversion. The group's 35-nation board of governors warned that Iran risked being taken before the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions.
Iran denies it is developing nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear development program is aimed at generating electricity. Israel and other countries, including the United States, doubt that.
Recent Israeli weapons purchases could be crucial in a possible strike.
In February, Israel received the first of 102 American-built F-16I warplanes, the largest weapons deal in its history. Military sources say the planes were specially designed with extra fuel tanks to allow them to reach Iran.
In June, it signed a $319 million deal to acquire nearly 5,000 U.S.-made smart bombs, including 500 "bunker busters" that can destroy six-foot concrete walls, such as those that might be found in Iranian nuclear facilities.
Military and strategic analysts in Israel and abroad say even with the new weaponry, Israel lacks the ability to carry out a successful strike against Iran's nuclear installations.
"You have to have solid intelligence, you have to know what to hit ... The intelligence on Iran is very weak," said Alex Vatanka, an expert on Iranian security issues at Jane's Sentinel Security Assessments in London.
Israeli strategic analyst Reuven Pedatzur pointed to a claim last year by Iranian opposition figures that foreign intelligence services have been unaware of two of the Iranian nuclear facilities.
"There is no good intelligence on Iran, and this is the proof," he said. "Any Israeli attack on Iran would cause huge political damage, and in the end, the program would proceed."
Other difficulties in attacking Iran's nuclear facilities include their dispersal throughout the country, their sophisticated defense systems and the likelihood that some of the installations have been replicated, said Cliff Kupchan, vice president of the Nixon Center in Washington, a former Clinton administration Iranian expert who met with Iranian officials during a visit there last year.
Kupchan said IAEA threats to impose sanctions on Iraq are unrealistic, because U.N members, including those with fledging nuclear programs, such as Brazil, would be reluctant to back them.
Sanctions against Iranian oil production are also unlikely when world demand is about 80 million barrels per day, prices are sky-high, and the only surplus capacity - about 2 million barrels per day from Saudi Arabia - is heavy oil the market usually shuns. Iran exports about 2.6 million barrels per day.
Kupchan said if diplomacy fails, there may be no choice but for the United States to lead a concerted military campaign against Iran. "If the U.S. moves aggressively, it won't be sanctions, it will be a coalition of the willing," he said.
Speaking at the United Nations last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom appeared to back him up.
"The time has come to move the Iranian case to the Security Council in order to put an end to this nightmare," Shalom said.
Nope...it's time for regime change...and the time is NOW.
Israel would not be able to destroy Iran's nuclear installations with a single air strike as it did in Iraq in 1981
That's what multiple air strikes would be for... duh!
From the post: "Other difficulties in attacking Iran's nuclear facilities include their dispersal throughout the country, their sophisticated defense systems and the likelihood that some of the installations have been replicated, said Cliff Kupchan, vice president of the Nixon Center in Washington, a former Clinton administration Iranian expert who met with Iranian officials during a visit there last year - "
Well - if anyone would know - it would be a former Clinton Administration Iranian expert -
Just makes one wonder how Iran got so, so - much done without notice until recently(if that is the case) - like where were the watchers over the past decade (1990s) - in bed with them - ? Gosh, I wonder -
didnt india get nuclear weapons with no one knowing about them? (not 100% sure about that) no reason why iran wouldnt be able to get this far without letting many ppl know about it.
In any case i dont agree with iran having nuclear weapons just as much as i dont agree with israel having nuclear weapons.
Who needs air strikes when you have nuclear tipped cruise missles.
"We didn't attack them. The explosion in Iran was a result of crude Pakistani nuclear science married to obsolete North Korean missile technology. We can't help it if they don't know whow to properly mount a nuclear warhead on top of a missile, even if it's aimed at us."
Israel having nuclear weapons is quite likely the single greatest reason that Israel still exists.
they havent used them ever, and they were a secret until exposed by vanunu. I think the reason why theyre still existing today is that they have a very strong military, not because they have nukes that were a secret for a large part of israels existance.
I thought it was Pak. -
And people wonder if the CIA is at odds with anyone -
This is exactly what I've been saying for months, and I have gotten ridiculed by the other posters for saying this.
Oh, I've been pointing it out too. The Iranians are fully aware of what happened to the Iraqis. It's doubtful even multiple strikes would work.
Nuclear weapons are far more useful as a deterrent than as a combat weapon.
And the decisionmakers around the world knew that Israel had them long before Mordechai Vanunu went to the London Times.
Who says it will be ONE air strike?
My money is on Israel. Iran can spend all the $$ it wants on nuclear crap. Israel will knock it out- again and again.
The discussion that follows your post misses your essential point. Regime change is the permanent solution; nuclear weapons in Iranian hands just makes it imperative that it happen soon. Taking out their nukes without taking out their regime would be akin to when we left Saddam in power after the first Gulf War. When we take out their nuclear facilities, it isn't going to be under the cover of darkness. We will have full control of the air and 150,000 troops on the border waiting to roll in.
Hopefully, the ranks of Iranians for democracy will swell when they see what is about to happen, and they will retake their country without our intervention.
Don't forget, Iran's
experts want to work after
Iran is destroyed.
One or more of them
will give us or Israel
a good map (I bet)
in exchange for work.
So, someone will know just where
to target the strikes.
India's nuke weapons programme started in 1963(after it's defeat in the Indo-Sino war of '62 & hence Indian nukes were primarily meant for China!!!!!!) & was mainly indegnious for much of it's duration ,with a bit of Russian & of late,reportedly Israeli help.Not a lot of people knew about it(despite India testing it's first bomb in 74 & weaponising it by '86) as the Indian government was always committed to Universal nuclear disarmament & never said it would go nuclear .ie remained ambigious.Israel's programme was similar too--It started in the 50s with active French help & later South African help.There were reports in both the Pakistan & Arab press that 3 of the mini-nukes India exploded in 98 were for Israel(in return for more advanced weaponry).Israel too has made it clear it won't be the 1st "to go nuclear" in the region-Iran's is more a belligerent attitude,reminiscent of Pakistan,their Slammic cousin.
you forgot special ops teams on the ground which will act in coordination with air strikes & sub launched cruise missiles.
When I visited Israel (1996) there were many imported Iranian pistachios being sold in markets. Iran had a very successful Jewish population. Most have left but 45,000 remain.
Israeli intelligence has always drawn from the Israel population of Jews kicked out of Arab nations post 1948. They do great on the West Bank. Undoubtedly the same has been done with Iranian Jews. Israeli intel recruiting those who can pass as Iranian Muslim when sent to Iran to help with an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear weapons program.