Monday, January 15, 2007

Israel’s plans to Wage Nuclear War on Iran: History of Israel's Nuclear Arsenal

Hundreds of nuclear warheads under the control of Israel's defense establishment

By Michael Carmichael
Global Research, January 15, 2007

".......The state of Israel has consistently blocked Mr. Vanunu’s taking up his academic post as a Lecturer in history at the University of Glasgow. The Israeli government prohibits Mr. Vanunu from traveling beyond their borders apparently for fear that he will hold press briefings about their now well-known arsenal of nuclear weapons. Expert opinions vary but some now rank Israel third or fourth behind only the USA, Russia and possibly France in holding the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.

In addition to the nuclear devices themselves, Israel has a formidable arsenal of delivery systems. Israel’s Shavit rocket has been used to launch satellites into orbit, and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reported that the Shavit could be converted to an ICBM with a range of 7,000 miles allowing an Israeli nuclear strike anywhere in the Middle East as well as eastern and western Europe and Central Asia. Additionally, Israel now has a fleet of Dolphin class submarines armed with cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reported that Israel may have developed nuclear artillery shells as well as nuclear land-mines that could be deployed in the Golan Heights to discourage Syrian designs on the region......

In the reports linked below, The Sunday Times have now revealed new evidence that Israel is currently planning to launch a nuclear attack against Iran. Aimed at destroying the embryonic Iranian nuclear industry, the Israeli missiles armed with nuclear warheads will be delivered via conventional jet fighters. The Sunday Times reported that Israeli jet pilots are already undergoing advanced training to fire the nuclear warheads at targets in Iran - – in a tactical replay of their attack that destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1982.

In The Sunday Times coverage, no reference was made to the possibility of a nuclear strike from Israeli submarines that have been equipped with cruise missiles that could be armed with nuclear warheads. Military experts have been reporting the presence of Israel’s Dolphin class submarines in the Persian Gulf for the past two years ostensibly to support US naval operations in case Iran attempts to close the Straits of Hormuz.....

From a lengthening series of reports, it is now clear that the Bush-Cheney administration has been severely weakened by the recent midterm elections, and they apparently no longer feel capable of launching a direct nuclear strike against Iran using American forces, American weapons and America’s formidable nuclear arsenal. In negotiations that took place in Washington between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President George Bush - as well as in the highly publicized negotiations between Vice President Dick Cheney and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia - it would now appear that the joint planning to strike Iran has altered only slightly from the grandiose schemes originally designed by Donald Rumsfeld prior to his abrupt retirement on the day after the midterm elections last year.

According to The Sunday Times, there has been a slight re-calibration of the plans for the war against Iran. Rather than a direct American nuclear strike against Iran’s hard targets, Israel has been given the assignment of launching a coordinated cluster of nuclear strikes aimed at targets that are the nuclear installations in the Iranian cities: Natanz, Isfahan and Arak.....

Mr. Gates was right. The reality is stark. If Israel attacks Iran, she will be playing Russian roulette on a grand scale. The retaliation from a broad spectrum of nations and multinational militias in the Middle East could bring about a concerted series of devastating hard power attacks against both Israeli and American forces arrayed in a dense cluster from Iraq to Kuwait, Qatar and the Persian Gulf.

During his recent appearance at the Oxford Union, Avi Shlaim, one of the premiere historians of Israel, said,

“There was never any special relationship between America and Britain. Whenever Bush was confronted with the choice of pleasing Blair or Sharon, he always sided with Sharon. The real special relationship is between America and Israel.”

There is an old adage in politics: It’s never your enemies who get you into trouble: it’s your friends."


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