Thursday, October 25, 2007

An Israeli Assessment on Iranian Rationality

I want to thank Chriss from comments for passing along this very interesting Ha'artz article on the strategic opinion of the Israeli Foreign Minister concerning the threat Israel faces from a potential future Iranian nuclear capacity... it's interesting:
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said a few months ago in a series of closed discussions that in her opinion that Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel, Haaretz magazine reveals in an article on Livni to be published Friday.

Livni also criticized the exaggerated use that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears. Last week, former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy said similar things about Iran.
So unpacking this statement of someone who should be extraordinarily well-informed we see an assessment that a national leader is seeking to use fear of terror to solidify political support, and then either an implicit assessment that the Iranian national command authorities are rational and thus deterrable with the combination of the US and Isreali nuclear forces, or that there is no chance in hell of the Iranians having the capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon to Israel.

The foreign minister of the US's closest ally and the target of rhetorical bombast does not believe that an Iranian nuclear capacity is an existential threat, and given the size of the Israeli state and population concentrations, only a few weapons would have to get through to be an existential threat. As I alluded to yesterday, the 'best' Bush presented intel says that Iran will not have the delivery capacity to justify European BMD sites for eight years or more...

The roll-out of fear, uncertainty and doubt about an Iranian menace is getting hit in the head with basic facts and statements by both the President and our closest allies --- I wonder if anyone beyond bloggers will notice...

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