SIKESTON, Mo. -
Competing analysis articles appeared Monday inThe New York Times and last week in the German daily Die Welt outlining vastly different conclusions about Israel’s military capability to knock out Iran’s nuclear weapons program.While The New York Times report cast doubt on Israel’s success chances, Hans Rühle, who directed the planning department of the German Defense Ministry between 1982-1988, expressed confidence that Israel’s air force could decimate Iran’s principal nuclear installations.
In a Times analysis, Hans Rühle, a leading German security expert, asserted last week in a lengthy article in the Die Welt that a comprehensive Israel-based bombing campaign could significantly set back, perhaps a decade or more, Iran’s nuclear weapons program.contrast to the
In the article titled “How Israel can destroy Iran’s nuclear program” Rühle analyzed the number of Israeli fighter jets and bombs necessary to obliterate Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Citing experts, Rühle writes that an extensive bombing campaign is within Israel’s capability to decimate Iran’s ability to continue to make progress on developing nuclear weapons.
...officials in Israel and the US have been increasingly at odds on how towith Iran, which both - along with other Western nations and Gulf Arab states - say is seeking nuclear weapons.
Israeli officials are said to favor a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities saying the window for decisive action is closing as Iran "enters the immunity zone."
The Obama administration insists sanctions are having the desired effect and need more time.
However, senior Israeli officials in private conversations have expressed the belief that the White House desperately wants to avoid a spike ina strike might cause as the presidential elections looms on its political horizon.
While Western capitals are primarily concerned with the economic impact a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities may have, officials in Jerusalem are primarily concerned with the potential impact of not attacking.
Iranian officials have repeatedly called for the Jewish state's destruction and have referred to Israel as a "one bomb state."
In Jerusalem, an Iranian nuclear weapon is an existential risk leaders have said they don't believe Israel can afford.
Following failed efforts to argue and persuade, the Americans seem to be taking a new approach – trying to undermine Israel’s confidence in its military capabilities.
A The New York Times on Monday was aimed at doing just that – showing Israel how difficult a strike would be and explaining that if possible regional fallout is not enough of a deterrent against attacking Iran, a military failure should be. in
Despite its confident saber-rattling, Israel's concern is growing that the country is vulnerable to a devastating counterstrike if it attacks Iran's nuclear program."The whole of Israel (is vulnerable to) tens of thousands of missiles and rockets from neighboring countries. So of course we need to understand the change of paradigm," he continued. "If there is a war, and I hope there isn't a war, they are not just going to hit Israeli soldiers. The main aim is at civilian populations."
The truth is, no one knows for sure just how far advanced Iran’s nuclear weapons program is. There are sound reasons for doubting Washington’s official estimates that Iran does not yet have the bomb or the ability to make a nuclear strike on the United States.Privately, the Obama administration may recognize that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is already irreversible but may not want to acknowledge publicly what would amount to a colossal national security failure. In June 2010, the White House National Security staff began quietly circulating to state emergency planners a manual titled “Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation.” It encourages first responders in major cities to prepare for a terrorist nuclear attack. An estimated 200,000 Americans could die from a small nuclear weapon detonated in a major city.
Western powers have for years made grand pronouncements regarding their commitment to Israel's security in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat. But now that Iran is drawing so close to being able to field a nuclear weapon, America and Europe appear to be backing off and leaving Israel to the wolves.With the situation clearly reaching a critical junction, talk of the possible need to launch a preemptive strike has reached fever pitch in Israel. The consternation of Israelis has been further exacerbated by recent calls from within Iran's religious leadership to attack and destroy Israel no later than 2014.In a document published by Iran's Alef news agency, the chief strategist of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Alireza Forghani, argued that "in the name of Allah, Iran must attack Israel by 2014. All our troubles are due to Israel!"And it is precisely at this moment that the US, Britain and other European powers are showing themselves most apathetic and incapable of facing down the Iranian threat.
Iran would take preemptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying on Tuesday.
"Our now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran's national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions," Mohammad Hejazi told Fars news agency.