Introduction — August 9, 2013
Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Steinitz comments below imply that the “international community” could destroy Iran’s nuclear program. The emphasis being on the “international community” rather than Israel. For he probably knows that it is not in Israel’s best interest to unilaterlly confront Iran militarily.
Moreover, Steinitz’s claim that Iranian missile counter strikes on Israel would only cause “very limited damage” — because many would presumably be intercepted — is also highly misleading.
Steinitz’s confidence in the Zionist state’s invulnerability is no doubt based on the Iron Dome anti-missile system. However, a growing number of weapons experts have called into question the system’s capability; with some claiming that based on their analysis Iron Dome intercepted only 40% of incoming missiles in recent tests, not the 90% the Israeli government claims.
Meanwhile as Steinintz tried to reassure nervous Israelis, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told visiting U.S. lawmakers that Iran’s new President Rouhani only wants talks because:
“He wants to talk and talk and talk. And while everybody is busy talking to him, he’ll be busy enriching uranium. The centrifuges will keep on spinning.
At the same time, Netanyahu continued:
“Iran’s work and quest towards the achievement of atomic weapons not only continues, it continues unabated — it’s actually accelerated.”
Of course we have absolutely no hard evidence that Iran actually has a nuclear weapons program, let alone that it has been “accelerated”. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have one. It’s just for nearly thirty years now we’ve been hearing similar warnings — from US Senator Alan Cranston’s 1984 warning that Iran was only 7 years away from obtaining a nuclear weapon through to more recent Israeli claims — but Iran still appears to be without a nuclear weapon.
In fact as far back as 1992 Netanyahu himself was warning that Iran was only “three to five years” from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That was more than twenty years ago and we’ve still yet to see it.
Minister: Iran Nuclear Program Could be Destroyed in ‘Hours’
Maayana Miskin — Israel National news Aug 9, 2013
The international community must make it clear to Iran that it has only two options: end its nuclear program voluntarily, or “see it destroyed with brute force,” Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz has said, speaking to the Washington Post.
Demolishing Iran’s nuclear program by force is entirely possible, he said, estimating that it would take “a few hours of airstrikes, no more.”
He was not overly concerned with the possibility that Iran could fire missiles on Israel in response to an international attack on its facilities. Such an attack would cause “very limited damage,” he said, explaining that Israel would be able to intercept most of the missiles.
However, Israeli leaders have warned the world against being convinced by Rouhani’s public statements. “Of course he wants more talks. He wants to talk and talk and talk. And while everybody is busy talking to him, he’ll be busy enriching uranium,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned this week in a meeting with U.S. lawmakers.
“This isn’t a secret. The new Iranian president boasts that that is his strategy,” he added.
Steinitz agreed. “Rouhani is charming, he is cunning, and he will smile all the way to the bomb,” he told the Post.
Netanyahu has called on the international community to respond by maintaining the pressure on Iran.
“Iran’s president said that pressure will not help to dissuade him from developing nuclear weapons. But we see that over the past two decades, the only thing that has helped has been pressure,” he said.