Last summer, during the war in south Lebanon, we considered whether Israel has the capacity, by itself, to set back or destroy Iran’s nuclear program. We considered that issue here and here. I took the position, based in part on what I’d heard from sources, that the Israeli military probably could deal a significant set-back to that program. However, I could not disclose those sources.
Now an Israeli think tank, the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University, has concluded that Israel has the ability to cripple the Iranian nuclear program. INSS head Zvi Shtauber, a retired general who also served as Israel’s ambassador in London and senior policy adviser to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, says that Israel is “technically” capable of striking alone. He also says that Israel will have to act alone if it takes action, because no other country would agree to work openly with Israel.
The INSS is also of the view that Iran is well on course to develop nuclear weapons and that sanctions are unlikely to prevent then from doing so. However, it takes the position that Israel should not undertake military action until the other options have been exhausted.
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