Thursday, May 22, 2014

Israel's Iran Option

Why Israel Fears Containment of a Nuclear Iran
- Avner Golov and Uri Sadot 

While scholars and policy-makers in Western capitals contemplate containment scenarios in Iran, Israeli leaders defiantly state: before containment, we will choose preemption.

Israelis are predisposed to believe that their enemies are irrationally bent on destroying the Jewish state, even in the face of nuclear retaliation. For Israelis, their country is too small to comply with existing mutual-deterrence models because only two or three bombs are what it would take to wipe out their entire country.

Israelis see themselves as faced with not a single enemy that can be deterred, but rather with a broad league of states and nonstate entities who are out to get them. Such a quantitative asymmetry can only be balanced by securing an overwhelming qualitative advantage. A nuclear-capable Iran would unravel the existing balance and would leave Israel defenseless against various types of provocation.

In 1981, Israel attacked Iraq's nuclear program for precisely those reasons. Polls show two-thirds support among Jewish Israelis for a "preemptive" strike as a final resort.
Avner Golov is a researcher at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies. Uri Sadot is a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations' program for Middle East Studies. 

(National Interest)


Iran's Latest Nuclear Gamble Seems Safe - Jonathan S. Tobin 

The two sides are not negotiating about whether the Iranians will have the capacity to build a bomb. That was already substantially conceded in the November interim deal when the West tacitly granted Iran the "right" to enrich uranium. The only variable is how long it will take for Iran to reactivate their stockpile of nuclear fuel any time they like - a breakout.

Iran knows the only two possible outcomes of the talks are a breakdown that will let them get to a bomb or an agreement that will allow them to get to their nuclear ambition a bit more slowly. 

The Jewish State - Michael Oren

Israel is not about to...accept a nuclear-enabled Iran just to gain international favor.

The writer was Israel's ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2013.
(Foreign Policy)

Israel May Have to Stand Alone - Herb Keinon

If push comes to shove, Israel will need to stand alone to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon capabilities, former National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror said at the annual Herzliya Conference.

"Many people, including in the U.S., are willing to accept almost any agreement with Iran. For them the agreement itself is more important than the content, because it will do away with the need to use force. Using force for them is almost a sin."

"These people will never acknowledge that an agreement with Iran is bad, because then they would have to discuss a military option, which they are not really willing to use."
(Jerusalem Post)

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