Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Defenseless Iran?

A report issued on Monday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies suggests that Israel might be better able to attack Iran's nuclear facilities using ballistic missiles than using combat aircraft (link to lengthy pdf document) due to lower political and operational risk and to Iran's lack of an anti-missile defense system. On the study's web page, the key conclusions of the analysis regarding a potential Israeli strike on Iran are:
• A military strike by Israel against Iranian Nuclear Facilities is possible and the optimum route would be along the Syrian-Turkish border then over a small portion of Iraq then into Iran, and back the same route. However, the number of aircraft required, refueling along the way and getting to the targets without being detected or intercepted would be complex and high risk and would lack any assurances that the overall mission will have a high success rate.

• With regard to the Arab States, most probably they will not condone any attack on Iran under the pretext that Iran poses an existential threat to Israel and a security threat to the whole region, whilst Israel has some 200 to 300 nuclear weapons, and the delivery means using the Jericho missiles, in addition to Israel still occupying the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights.

• The more there is an Israeli threat to the survival of the regime in Iran, the more Iran will be determined to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran would withdraw from the NPT based on the argument that it needs to acquire nuclear weapons to protect its sovereignty and any further aggression by Israel and the U.S.

• A strike by Israel on Iran will give rise to regional instability and conflict as well as terrorism.
But within the 114-page report is this scenario:
• We have seen how an air to ground strike mission can be difficult to implement and would involve some risks.
• Flying on a very tight route, practically hugging the Turkish-Syrian borders.
• Aerial refueling along the way and avoid being detected by Turkey, Syria and the U.S.
• Flying down to S/L when in Iranian territory, avoid being detected by flying low and applying ECM all the way. If detected by Iranian air defense be prepared to encounter interceptors and the firing of ground based SAMs.
• All of this can somewhat be avoided if Ballistic Missiles are used to carry out the mission. Israel has this capability and Iran does not have a Ballistic Missile Defense System such as the Russian S-300PMU2 ―Favorit‖ that was designed to intercept ballistic missiles as well as combat aircraft. It has been reported that Iran has been negotiating with Russia for the procurement of the S-300PMU2 and they might get it now that the present US administration is taking the diplomatic dialogue approach with Iran.

The JPost adds:
Toukan estimated Israel would need about 40 Jericho IIIs for the initial volley, and cautioned that an Israeli-Iranian ballistic missile exchange would turn Jordan and neighboring countries into "Ground Zero."


After detailing the possible scenarios for an Israeli attack, Toukan warned of retaliation from Iran, which could include ballistic missiles headed toward Tel Aviv and military centers, as well as increasing terror attacks by proxy groups Hamas and Hizbullah. The exchange of ballistic missiles, he suggested, could potentially include WMD warheads.

Other forms of retaliation could include increasing efforts to destabilize Iraq, supporting the Taliban against American-backed forces in Afghanistan, threatening US military forces and nearby countries that host them, such as Qatar and Bahrain, as well as possibly cutting off oil supplies.


Interesting comment on this story here.


At 1:07 PM, Blogger Ashan said...

You have to be just a little skeptical about this report - by Abdullah Toukan together with Anthony H. Cordesman.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel is signaling that it has means to counter Iran. This looks like a media diversion. Does any one really think she would tell the world exactly what she is going to do?

Not on your life!


Post a Comment

<< Home