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The Pros and Cons of Striking Iran

December 3, 2012
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The report, which was compiled by former US defense officials and foreign policy experts, reviews the pros and cons of a strike against Iran. The report reveals that military action that relies on aerial strikes supplemented by cyber attacks, covert operations, and perhaps special operations forces might destroy or severely damage Iran’s nuclear facilities. However, “in our judgment, complete destruction of Iran’s nuclear program is unlikely, and Iran would still retain the scientific capacity and the experience to start its nuclear program again if it chose to do so.”

The report states that an American strike would only delay the nuclear program by up to four years and “disrupt Iranian government control, deplete the Iranian treasury, and raise internal tensions—although we do not believe it would lead to regime change, regime collapse, or capitulation. Our informed estimate is that a military strike by Israel alone could delay Iran’s ability to build a bomb for up to two years. In our view, Israel could not replicate the success of its earlier surgical strikes against single reactors in Iraq and, since Iran’s nuclear sites are numerous and widely dispersed, with one [Fordow] buried deep underground.”

The report also warns “Iran would hold Israel partly responsible for any attacks, whether or not Israeli forces participated in military action. While Israel’s anti-missile and civilian defense programs are strong, sustained air strikes by Iran would result in casualties and damage to facilities, perhaps including the Israeli nuclear complex at Dimona [in the Negev].”

Moreover it noted that Iran could use “well-armed proxies such as Syria, Hizbullah or Shiite militant groups in Iraq, as well as by Iran’s covert forces and the IRGC [Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps] Qods Force,” which could be “even more damaging to US and Israeli interests than direct Iranian retaliation.”

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Source: Excerpts of an article by Ynetnews

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