How Close is Israel to Attacking Iran?

Rick Moran
The Wall Street Journal thinks they are very close:

Last week, an extraordinary leak revealed the fact that Israel had conducted massive military exercises in the waters off of Greece. The significance should
be obvious:

Those exercises - reportedly involving about 100 fighters, tactical bombers, refueling planes and rescue helicopters - were conducted about 900 miles west of Israel's shores in the Mediterranean. Iran's nuclear facilities at Bushehr, Isfahan and Natanz all fall roughly within the same radius, albeit in the opposite direction. The point was not lost on Tehran, which promptly warned of "strong blows" in the event of a pre-emptive Israeli attack.

The more important question is whether the meaning of Israel's exercise registered in Western capitals. It's been six years since Iran's secret nuclear programs were publicly exposed, and Israel has more or less bided its time as the Bush Administration and Europe have pursued diplomacy to induce Tehran to cease enriching uranium.

It hasn't worked. Iran has rejected repeated offers of technical and economic assistance, most recently this month. Despite four years of pleading, the Administration has failed to win anything but weak U.N. sanctions. Russia plans to sell advanced antiaircraft missiles to Iran and finish work on a nuclear reactor at Bushehr, though spent fuel from that reactor could eventually be diverted and reprocessed into weapons-usable plutonium. Chinese companies still invest in Iran, while the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, has repeatedly downplayed Iran's nuclear threat.

While the rest of the world dithers, Israel prepares to act. And only the most willfully self deluded can blame them.


Who is it that has promised to "wipe Israel off the map?" Who is it who constantly threatens Israel with the most bellicose, the most outrageous rhetoric - not seen since the heydey of Adolf Hitler and his promise to wipe Czechoslovakia from existence?


There are many in the west who hear these threats and chalk them up to pure bombast or worse, deny that Iran is even making these threats, that we misunderstand what President Ahmadinejad and the rest of the Iranian leadership is saying - "mistranslation" is a common excuse.


But no one ever asks the question "Can Israel take that chance?" Their preparations would seem to indicate that they don't believe they can.

Military experts will point out that Israel cannot carry out such a mission successfully, that it would be madness for them to try. We have seen the IDF make miracles before so I would caution those who would rule out such an attack completely. But the point isn't can it be done but rather does Israel feel it is necessary? If the Jewish state feels they have no other choice, I believe they will strike - regardless of the odds and world opinion.

That is the lesson the world should take away from the Israeli exercises last week.

The Wall Street Journal thinks they are very close:

Last week, an extraordinary leak revealed the fact that Israel had conducted massive military exercises in the waters off of Greece. The significance should
be obvious:

Those exercises - reportedly involving about 100 fighters, tactical bombers, refueling planes and rescue helicopters - were conducted about 900 miles west of Israel's shores in the Mediterranean. Iran's nuclear facilities at Bushehr, Isfahan and Natanz all fall roughly within the same radius, albeit in the opposite direction. The point was not lost on Tehran, which promptly warned of "strong blows" in the event of a pre-emptive Israeli attack.

The more important question is whether the meaning of Israel's exercise registered in Western capitals. It's been six years since Iran's secret nuclear programs were publicly exposed, and Israel has more or less bided its time as the Bush Administration and Europe have pursued diplomacy to induce Tehran to cease enriching uranium.

It hasn't worked. Iran has rejected repeated offers of technical and economic assistance, most recently this month. Despite four years of pleading, the Administration has failed to win anything but weak U.N. sanctions. Russia plans to sell advanced antiaircraft missiles to Iran and finish work on a nuclear reactor at Bushehr, though spent fuel from that reactor could eventually be diverted and reprocessed into weapons-usable plutonium. Chinese companies still invest in Iran, while the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, has repeatedly downplayed Iran's nuclear threat.

While the rest of the world dithers, Israel prepares to act. And only the most willfully self deluded can blame them.


Who is it that has promised to "wipe Israel off the map?" Who is it who constantly threatens Israel with the most bellicose, the most outrageous rhetoric - not seen since the heydey of Adolf Hitler and his promise to wipe Czechoslovakia from existence?


There are many in the west who hear these threats and chalk them up to pure bombast or worse, deny that Iran is even making these threats, that we misunderstand what President Ahmadinejad and the rest of the Iranian leadership is saying - "mistranslation" is a common excuse.


But no one ever asks the question "Can Israel take that chance?" Their preparations would seem to indicate that they don't believe they can.

Military experts will point out that Israel cannot carry out such a mission successfully, that it would be madness for them to try. We have seen the IDF make miracles before so I would caution those who would rule out such an attack completely. But the point isn't can it be done but rather does Israel feel it is necessary? If the Jewish state feels they have no other choice, I believe they will strike - regardless of the odds and world opinion.

That is the lesson the world should take away from the Israeli exercises last week.