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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IDF ready to do "whatever is demanded of us" on Iran

In an interview with the German Magazine Der Spiegel on Tuesday, Israeli Air Force General Ido Nechushtan said that the IDF is ready to do "whatever is demanded of us" with respect to Iran:

SPIEGEL: Will a military strike take place if the international sanctions do not prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb?

Nehushtan: This is a political decision. But if I understand it correctly, all options are on the table.

SPIEGEL: The Israeli Air Force is ready for it?

Nehushtan: The Air Force is a very robust and flexible force. We are ready to do whatever is demanded of us.

SPIEGEL: Iran's nuclear facilities are spread around the country and are partly located underground. Is it even technically possible to destroy them?

Nehushtan: Please understand that I do not want to get into details. I can only say this: It is not a technical or logistical question.

SPIEGEL: Is technology the main advantage that the Israelis have over their enemies?

Nehushtan: Modern technology is one thing, but the biggest advantage we have is our soldiers and officers. Israel is a small country. We neither have a big population nor natural resources. Our biggest asset is our human resources. And it is the Air Force that makes best use of it.

Can Israel attack Iran on its own? Probably. Even without US permission to overfly Iraq, Israel has shown that it can fly far enough to attack Iran and that it can evade Iran's Russian radar.

Will it succeed? My guess is that Israel would succeed in pushing the program back but not in destroying it. And at this point, with Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant ready to go online in 2009, that may be the best we can hope for - push the program back a couple of years, and hope that someone else wakes up and does something about it during that window.


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