Israel Prepares for War With Iran Next Year, Study Exposes Fallacy of Iran Threat
12 May 09 | PTV
A new Israeli assessment rejects oft-stated claims that Iran poses a missile threat to Israel and suggests the country’s rocket program to have other objectives.
After years of branding Iranian rockets as “an existential threat” to Israel, the former head of the Israeli military Arrow missile project, Uzi Rubin, noted in a recent report that Tehran has garnered missile know-how “to defend, deter and influence”.
Rubin said Iran’s ongoing scientific advancements and military breakthroughs show that the Tehran government would stop at nothing to protect the Iranian people in the event of war.
According to the former security official, Israel’s Air Force is counterbalanced by Iran’s state-of-the-art missile program. “Missiles are an equalizer, balancing the superiority of Israel’s air force,” he observed.
Tal Inbar, the head of the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies who co-authored the assessment with Rubin, noted the “noncontinuous progress” in Iran’s missile project but doubted that it would pose an actual threat to Israel’s existence.
He, however, added that Iranian missiles would be capable of traveling 3,000 kilometers in the near future, a prospect he deemed ‘concerning’.
The study comes only a week after Israeli Air Force (IAF) reservists who operate the ballistic missile destroyer, the Arrow, and the surface-to-air missile, Patriot, were ordered to spend one day a week on duty to prepare for a future military showdown with Iran.
Israel, in recent years, has strived to portray Iran’s missile program, space research and nuclear activities as a “menace” and has thus managed to draw up a case for war against the country.
This is while Tel Aviv is widely regarded as the sixth-largest nuclear power in the world and the sole possessor of an atomic arsenal in the Middle East. Israel reportedly houses at least 100 bunker-busting bombs, which come in the form of laser-guided mini-nukes with the ability of penetrating underground targets.
During the Kennedy administration, Israel allowed American inspectors to make visits to its Dimona plant, but investigations eventually came to a halt in 1969 when former U.S. president Richard Nixon secretly endorsed Tel Aviv’s atomic arsenal.
In the early 1970s, Israel had already developed missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads to most countries in the region, including Iran and Russia.
For years, senior Israeli political, military and intelligence figures have threatened to bomb Iran’s nuclear infrastructure out of existence, but the prospect of go-it-alone Israeli air strikes has significantly risen since Benjamin Netanyahu took up the baton in Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu’s hawkish policies during his previous prime ministerial term (1996-1999) have been described by The Economist as a “calamity” for the peace process.
As the prospects of diplomatic talks between the US and Iran enhance, Israel attempts to raise the alarm by claiming that Tehran is “very close” to acquiring nuclear weapons.
“Iran is at the moment very close to getting a military nuclear arsenal,” Amos Yadlin, the head of Israel’s military intelligence, was quoted as telling parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee on Tuesday.
Ever since U.S. President Barack Obama raised the possibility of opening Tehran-Washington dialogue, officials in Tel Aviv and powerful pro-Israeli lobbies in the U.S. have launched initiatives to reduce the likelihood of such talks or at the very least influence the outcome.
Tel Aviv, the possessor of the Middle East’s sole nuclear arsenal, has long accused Iran and its nuclear program, which the country says is directed at civilian purposes, of posing a “threat” to its existence.
On Tuesday, one day after a U.S.-Iranian journalist was released on suspended terms in Tehran — a move praised in Washington–, Major General Yadlin told the parliament that Iran could “manage to stabilize its military nuclear program by 2010,” AFP reported.
“The Iranian strategy was not to get the international community against it, but to discreetly continue nuclear armament without crossing red lines,” he was quoted by Israeli media as saying.
This comes as the U.N. nuclear watchdog has confirmed in a series of assessments that the country has complied with its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Although criticized by the U.N. nuclear watchdog at times for lack of extra-transparency on its conventional military programs, Iran has allowed the U.N. body to fully monitor its uranium enrichment facilities.
Uranium, the fuel for a nuclear power plant, can serve in military purposes if enriched to high levels of above 90 percent.
According to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency figures, however, Iran has produced some 1,010 kilograms of low enriched uranium (LEU) — a level “less than 5 percent.”
Under the pretext of the nuclear issue, high-ranking officials in Tel Aviv and in the Israeli army have vocally threatened Iran with a military strike on its nuclear sites.
Yadlin, for his part, told the parliament that the army was still studying the possibility of a regional war in the coming year.
Iran, meanwhile, continues to prep its military for deterring threats such as those originating from Israel.
As Tel Aviv keeps on threatening Tehran with a ‘military option’, a report says Israel will open an embassy near the Iranian border in neighboring Turkmenistan.
Citing high-ranking officials in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, IzRus reported Monday that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has personally struck a deal with Turkmen officials.
According to the report, an Israeli delegation is on its way to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital, to find a ‘suitable building’ for an Israeli embassy.
Ashgabat is approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the Bajgiran border crossing which connects northwestern Iran to the south of Turkmenistan. The two countries share a 621-mile (994-kilometer) border.
The report comes at a time when Israel continues to militarily threaten Iran over its nuclear activities.
Tehran says its nuclear program is directed at the civilian applications of the technology. Tel Aviv — the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East–, however, accuses the country of developing nuclear weaponry.
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