Might Israel nuke Iran?

I said yesterday that I thought Israel might be preparing to attack Iran if it felt that the Geneva agreement wasn’t having the desired effect (which, in my opinion, it won’t).  Now Foreign Policy has a very interesting look at the possible use of nuclear weapons by Israel against Iran.  Here’s an excerpt.

The recognition of Israel’s nuclear capabilities will continue to matter over the next six months because, if we are to take Tel Aviv seriously, Israel could undertake a unilateral military attack against Iran’s known nuclear facilities. Should the IAEA’s outstanding questions about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program go unaddressed, or access to sensitive sites remain restricted, there are intentionally ambiguous undefined conditions under which Israel might attack Iran, with or without the United States. For example, Iran’s Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant could be one target of an Israeli nuclear weapon. Fordow is a uranium-enrichment facility located beneath 60 to 80 meters of granite near the city of Qom. The facility at Fordow, according to Iran’s declaration to the International Atomic Energy Agency, is designed to contain up to 2,976 IR-1 centrifuges in 16 cascades. The Institute for Science and International Security has estimated that this set-up could produce one bomb’s worth — or “significant quantity” — of highly enriched uranium per year.

In August, Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister for international affairs, strategy, and intelligence, claimed that Iran’s uranium-enrichment facilities can be “destroyed with brute force,” which he described as “a few hours of airstrikes, no more.” Yaakov Amidror, who recently stepped down as national security advisor, asserted this month that Israel can “stop the Iranians for a very long time.” Asked whether this includes Iran’s deeply buried nuclear installations, he responded, “including everything.”

Most U.S. government and nongovernmental experts in weaponeering effects disagree with Amidror. They have concluded that Israel’s conventional air-dropped bombs cannot penetrate the bedrock to reliably destroy the centrifuges located within Fordow. Moreover, both George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s administrations have refused to provide Israel with the Pentagon’s largest (and recently further improved) conventional bunker-buster bomb, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. Respected defense reporter David Fulghum quoted an anonymous U.S. defense specialist as saying, “Right now the Israeli capability against deeply buried targets is not much more than a noise-level effect.” Given Israel’s inability to deliver what one U.S. official termed “a knockout blow” against well-defended nuclear sites like Fordow with conventional bombs, a low-yield nuclear weapon could be the only viable alternative for a unilateral Israeli strike.

There’s more at the link.  Interesting reading.

I have no doubt that if Israel felt terminally threatened by Iran (or anyone else), she would use nuclear weapons against them without hesitation.  Look up Masada and the Holocaust to understand why.



  1. — I have no doubt that if Israel felt terminally threatened by Iran (or anyone else), she would use nuclear weapons against them without hesitation. —

    Indeed. Just now, there can be no doubt that she would. The United States, her traditional security guarantor, has just left her naked before the Iranian threat — and no threat to Israel's existence has ever been more explicit or plausible.

    The truly horrifying aspect of this situation is that the so-called "international community" is secretly eager to see Israel destroyed. The mush-heads in those capitals believe that it would relieve the political pressures being put upon them by the oil-rich Arab states. None so blind as those who will not see…

  2. Even a nuclear bomb would have trouble taking out an installation buried that deep.

    If I was going to attack the place, I would use conventional bombs to attack and hopefully collapse the entrance(s). Then I would use a dirty bomb – lots of radioactive material – to contaminate the area. Finally, some VX to make the site uninhabitable without MOPP gear.

    Iran doesn't have that many good technicians and engineers, and I would bet that their MOPP gear is substandard. This would make the place too expensive to use.

    "Who, us use chemical and radiological weapons? Not us, our conventional bombs must have penetrated something."

  3. What are the coordinates for that black rock those muslimes worship? Seems to me THAT would be a great target that would get their attention!

  4. This Moreover, both George W. Bush's and Barack Obama's administrations have refused to provide Israel with the Pentagon's largest (and recently further improved) conventional bunker-buster bomb, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. kind of surprises me.

    Compared to IRBM launched nuclear weapons, which I've read many groups think Israel has, fuel air bombs are kind of low tech, right? I can't think of any reason to believe Israel doesn't have the engineering talent to design their own. True, it's more convenient to use one that's already designed, but fuel air bombs have been around quite a while.

    Considering the engineering talent in Israel, I have to believe they could get something working.

  5. It's a definite possibility, and looking more likely with each passing day.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you & Miss D, sir!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Miss D. Thank you for all the great articles and videos you post.
    As for Israel, this is something that we already knew the administration was planning. How the rest of our country couldn't see what was afoot baffles me. The signs have been there since 2008! Our president is a truly appallingly wretched mess of cells! Not human.

  7. The Israelis have been saying that Iran is right on the verge of developing nuclear weapons for, oh, at least a decade.


  8. "Then what?" is a powerful question. If they thought a functional Iranian nuke was imminent, and they were determined to use it on Israel, then yes I have no doubt they would do a first-strike. But… Then what? Much of the ME would move to a war footing, or try to, but they are all military basket cases. Does Israel tell them "any major army crossed our border and Mecca and Medina become self-illuminating parking lots?" Do they go ahead adn nuke them anyway, get it over with? First-strike anywhere else with conventional weapons? How does that affect all the jihaddies in Syria – might they unite and march south, because Assad is the only one in the region with an army worth a damn? Does Captain Zero hit the links for another 18 and wait for France to take the lead?
    Six years ago, most of the regional partnerships were solid and well understood between the major players. These days, alliances are very uncertain and fragile, and most ME nations are either on the verge of resource-limit crisis and revolution or basking in oil wealth and corruption. What'll Russia do, other than happily sell arms to one and all, and be happy at oil disruptions that drive up prices.

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