Echoing comments he made last week to the effect that Israel can successfully degrade Iran’s atomic program, former head of Israeli Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin told a Jerusalem Post conference this weekend that Israel could handle the aftermath of such a strike.
Yadlin’s comments came after a similar evaluation provided to the conference by former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi:
Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said Sunday that Israel can handle the outcomes of a military strike on Iran. “We’ve worked long and hard to prepare ourselves,” he said at a Jerusalem Post conference in New York. Former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, who also spoke at the conference, echoed Ashkenazi’s statements saying that Israel can mount an attack on its own, without US assistance and can handle the consequences. If all other options fail, Israel will have to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, Yadlin said. Once a top Air Force commander Yadlin explained that an attack on Iran is preferable to an Iranian nuclear weapon.
Yadlin was one of the Israeli air force pilots who destroyed Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981. Israel’s “Begin Doctrine” – named after Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who ordered that strike – commits the Jewish state to preventing entities seeking its destruction from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Israeli leaders may have acted on the basis of the Begin doctrine in ordering what is widely suspected to have been a 2007 Israeli strike on a Syrian nuclear reactor. Reports indicate that then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered the strike after being informed by the White House that the United States would not take action to halt construction of the facility. Washington later confirmed that the building was part of a nuclear program.
Recent months have seen U.S., E.U, and U.N. diplomats, Israeli officials, the head of the IAEA, top U.S. military officials, and most recently Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal all express suspicions that Iran is stalling for time as it advances toward acquiring nuclear weapons. The last round of negotiations designed to reduce opacity around the Iranian nuclear program ended with zero progress. Meanwhile
Israeli leaders have long emphasized that the Jewish state will act alone if necessary to prevent Iran from advancing its atomic program to the point where Tehran could build nuclear weapons. Earlier this month Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the BBC. Netanyahu’s comments came as Iranian officials renewed threats to destroy the Jewish state, and as Iran at least tripled its installation of advanced nuclear enrichment technology. The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month unanimously sent legislation to the floor affirming U.S. support for Israel in the event that Israel has to unilaterally take military action.
Arab states meanwhile have been explicit in urging the United States to attack Iran’s atomic program. Gulf counties fear Tehran would press its territorial claims and destabilize their governments if it acquired the immunity provided by nuclear weapons. Iranian officials claim several contested Gulf islands and the entire nation of Bahrain as Iranian territory.
[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Wiki Commons]