Iran's Weak Points, and How Israel and U.S. Could Exploit Them

(Ha'aretz) Col. (ret.) Dr. Ephraim Kam - The initial Iranian response to the killing of Qasem Soleimani is not necessarily the final one. We can assume that the Iranian regime wants to gain time in order to examine the alternatives to fulfilling its promise to inflict serious punishment on the U.S. The leadership in Iran is committed to that. The firing of Iranian missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq, with minimal results, has to be perceived by Iran's rivals as a sign of weakness rather than strength. Israel is likely to be another target for Iran's retaliation campaign. But the Iranians should recall that Israel hit dozens of Iranian and Shi'ite targets in Syria and Iraq without Tehran daring to respond - with the exception of a few failed attempts - in recognition of Israel's aerial superiority. Although Iran has considerable deterrence capability against Israel, based on its huge missile systems and those of Hizbullah and the Shi'ite militias, using those systems against Israel means war. In that case, Iran has to take into account that the U.S. will help Israel, and that Israel will also exploit the confrontation in order to attack Iran's nuclear sites. Iran knows that Israel is looking for justification and a good opportunity to deliver such a blow. The writer, who served in the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence, is Deputy Director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

2020-01-22 00:00:00

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