It May Be Up to Israel to Stop Iran's Nuclear Program

(Washington Post) Yaakov Katz - Iran unquestionably presents a grave threat to Israel because of the combination of dangerous rhetoric - such as Ayatollah Khamenei's call for Israel to be "eradicated" - with the possibility that it will possibly one day have nuclear weapons and the means to act on what it openly says it wants to do. When the Iranian government signaled last week that it will halt compliance with some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, it ratcheted up its threat to Israel's existence. It appears increasingly probable that Iran will speed up its race to build a nuclear weapon, forcing Israel to return to the same strategy and tactics it used to eliminate Syrian nuclear power in 2007. Israel's defense establishment has long believed that to avoid the necessity of striking Iran's reactors, and for diplomacy to have a chance to work, a genuine military deterrent must first be on the table to make the Iranian regime reconsider its nuclear ambitions. Dan Meridor, Israel's former minister of intelligence, told me that for Israel to consider preemptive action against another country's nuclear program, two criteria must be met: the country must be one of Israel's enemies and must have demonstrated the potential to one day consider using a nuclear weapon against Israel. Syria and Iraq both fit those criteria. So does Iran. Iran's main uranium enrichment facility in Natanz was built deep underground. Despite this, Israeli military planners have been confident for some time that its air force can cause enough damage to Iran's nuclear facilities to stall its nuclear program by a few years. The writer is editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post.

2019-05-16 00:00:00

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