Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Monday, January 8, 2007

If Israel had tactical nukes, would it use them against Iran?

If Israel had tactical nukes, would it use them against Iran?
Jan. 8, 2007

A nuclear weapon has not been used since 1945, when the US Armed Forces dropped two such bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Now, according to London's Sunday Times, Israel is preparing for its own Hiroshima and has drawn up plans to not only introduce the weapon of mass destruction into the Middle East but even use it against Iran.
The newspaper report, improbable as it might sound, should not be immediately dismissed. While Israel is publicly rooting for diplomatic efforts to stop Iran's nuclear program, there is no doubt that the IDF - and particularly the Air Force - are preparing for the possibility that Israel might decide to launch a military strike against the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.
But would Israel use tactical nuclear weapons - if it had them - to do so? According to foreign reports, Israel has a large arsenal of nuclear weapons and according to the Sunday Times report, has been training with low-yield warheads that are just large enough to cause the necessary destruction at Iran's nuclear facilities, but also just small enough to contain the blast and prevent major collateral damage and fallout.
While it would be difficult to completely destroy all of Iran's several dozen nuclear facilities, senior officials and IAF officers believe that a successful strike on a number of key elements of the nuclear program - such as the uranium enrichment center in Natanz, the heavy water facility at Arak and the Isfahan nuclear technology center - would be enough to stop the country's race for nuclear power.
Assuming strikes on these facilities would suffice in at least temporarily stopping Iran's atomic race, there are still many hurdles along the way, some of which could potentially be passed by using tactical nuclear weapons.
The Sunday Times report is not the first to raise the "tactical nuclear" possibility. Last April, Seymour M. Hersh wrote in the New Yorker magazine that the United States was considering using bunker-buster bombs tipped with nuclear warheads to strike at Iran's nuclear facilities.
If Israel decided to attack Iran, in addition to the difficulty in flying directly to the country and neutralizing its air defenses, the IAF would also have to succeed in penetrating bunkers at the nuclear facilities - some known to be dozens of feet below ground and reinforced by concrete and steel.
According to Israeli officials, while an air strike on Iran could be successful, the IAF would need exact intelligence on each target and on the type of bunker, its depth, and what type of reinforcements it featured. Those pieces of information are crucial for choosing the type and number of bombs the IAF would need to drop.
This is where tactical nuclear weapons could conceivably come in.
While bunker buster bombs would still be needed, the powerful blast of a low-yield nuke could do the trick in further penetrating and destroying the underground facility. If Israel indeed has nuclear weapons and the ability to manufacture low-yield warheads, as the Sunday Times report claims, this option would definitely be under consideration.
While the use of nuclear weapons might be tempting - due to their strength - there is a downside that could in the end tilt the scales in the direction of conventional weapons. While Israel is suspected of possessing nuclear weapons, the official Israeli policy has for years been not to be the first country in the Middle East to introduce nuclear weapons into the region. In addition, Israel would be reluctant to use a WMD that could set off a regional war.
If, however, Iran is Israel's greatest existential threat ever, as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert claims it is, then even the hitherto unthinkable might be considered - even tactical nukes - when it comes to Israel's survival.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory