Israel's Iran options?!

| Tue Mar. 14, 2006 9:18 PM EST

Crazy talk on Iran by way of the Jerusalem Post:

The Pentagon is looking into the possibility of Israel launching a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. In the past months there were several working-level discussions trying to map out the possible scenarios for such an attack, according to administration sources who were briefed on these meetings.

...One of the questions Pentagon analysts are grappling with is how an Israeli attack - if launched - would affect the US and its forces in the region and whether it would force the US to follow with further strikes in order to complete the mission. The US is also discussing what could be the possible avenues of retaliation Iran would take against US's forces and interests in the region.

Well, I don't think you have to grapple very long before concluding that the Iranian response--in Israel as in Iraq--would be fairly robust; and that the Iranians are not apt to make any great distinction between Israeli and U.S. aggression. (Why start now, after all?)

Elsewhere, in congressional testimony, an expansive Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy recently considered loopy options short of all-out airstrikes.

If force were to be necessary, the options are much broader than an air raid like that which Israel mounted in 1981 against Iraq's Osiraq reactor. For instance, Israel put a stop to Egypt's missile program in the early 1960s by arranging the sudden premature death of German scientists working on those missiles in Egypt. Iran's nuclear program is a series of sophisticated, large industrial plants which could encounter industrial accidents.

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