Just in case you were inclined to rest easy over the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released a few days ago that announces “with high confidence” that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and could not obtain a nuclear weapon at least until 2010-2015, you might take a look at last Thursday’s op-ed in the NY Times. And you can read this from our skeptical friend, Ami Isseroff. I hope that these doubts are ill-placed, but who can say? I mean that question literally, WHO can say— with a really high level of confidence?
It disturbs me that Israel is almost alone against the world in feeling these doubts, but the rest of the world is not the target of hate that Israel is. I hope the NIE is accurate and that somebody explains this to the Israelis in convincing terms. Besides, do the Israelis have a unilateral military option?
In speaking with us yesterday at the Meretz USA board meeting, Meretz MK Avshalom (Abu) Vilan indicated that Iran has 58 nuclear-related facilities. Laying out the scenario without advocating such action, he sees a sustained air campaign of months, necessitating air forces ten times the size of Israel’s for this purpose. Even stormin’ Norman Podhoretz believes that only the US has the military capacity (via air power) to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities.