A new study argues that Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities would fail to substantially halt the program and would lead to a long war. Grain-of-salt alert: The study was produced by a think tank that that “promotes non-violent solutions to conflict” and was written by a professor of “peace studies.”
A few months ago in Tablet Magazine, Yoav Fromer reported on a different study, by an Israeli physicist, that reached a similar conclusion: A military attack would prompt a war that would last years, not months or days.
Most other studies, Fromer adds, envision a shorter follow-up war. And almost all, including (it appears) this new study, agree on what the Islamic Republic’s immediate response would be:
Iran would initially retaliate by lobbing ballistic missiles at Israel, while Tehran’s proxies Hezbollah and Hamas would bear most of the burden by launching corresponding rocket attacks from Gaza and Lebanon. Most predictions also include some Iranian attempt to wage economic warfare by sealing off the Strait of Hormuz to stop the flow of oil.
Which is why, as Eli Lake does a great job reporting in the The New Republic, perhaps the real ideal is to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program via covert sabotage—and don’t think Israel and the United States are not trying.
Israel Attack Wouldn’t Stop Iran Nuclear Program, Says U.K. Study [Reuters/Haaretz]
Related: Not So Fast [Tablet Magazine]
Operation Sabotage [TNR]