The Ongoing Iranian Threat

(Jerusalem Report) Yitzhak Ben-Israel - The official policy of the Iranian regime calls for "death to the U.S. and to Israel." The regime of the ayatollahs has long held the view that without nuclear weapons it will not be able achieve its designs against the U.S., Israel and the Western world as a whole. It believes that possession of such weapons would afford it immunity from retaliation. The revolution's revered first leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, stated in 1988 that the Islamic Republic required "the capacity to manufacture a significant number of laser and atomic weapons that would be essential for war." In the wake of that speech, a project was launched with a precise timetable and well-defined budgets for the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran. This is the project we are contending with today. If Iran abides by the nuclear deal, it is likely to delay the Iranian bomb by more than a decade. But we cannot overlook the fact that the Iranians have in the past been caught red-handed several times in nuclear enrichment activities, in clear violation of international conventions to which they are party. We would be well advised to proceed on the assumption that they will try to cheat this time too. Israel accepts the American distinction between the Iranian regime and the Iranian people, who, for the most part, want to return to the family of nations. But, unlike the U.S., Israel does not see how the fruits of a reinvigorated Iranian economy can reach the people without significantly enhancing the regime's aggressive power. Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Israel, an expert on ballistic and cyber warfare, heads the Security Studies program at Tel Aviv University and is chairman of the Israel Space Agency.

2015-08-18 00:00:00

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