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An Israeli strike would probably nix Iran's nuke weapon program for good.

Reader comment on item: Today's Iran Debate Misses the Point
in response to reader comment: A Flawed Assumption

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Apr 16, 2015 at 04:05

Hello, John

Here are some thoughts concerning the reservations you put forth about the effectiveness of an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear weapons capability:

1. Israel has already stopped two Middle East nuclear weapons programs dead in their tracks through air strikes: Iraq and Syria

2. Israel does not need to take out Iran's entire chain of nuclear weapons production. These weapons require a long line of processes. The American nuclear program during World War II, for instance, was the largest industrial enterprize in the country -- employing 125,310 workers in 1942; yet virtually none of them were aware of the end product they were working to build.

3. Many of the processes involved are very expensive, such as the array of costly centrifuges to enrich uranium. Those machines are not simply aluminum tubes: They need to be able to operate within tight constraints, and to resist corrosion from gaseous uranium fluorides that attack most materials. The reactor at Bushehr is also very fine-tuned; and only slight damage to it could cause it to be shut down. Remember Chernobyl.

4. One argument against a strike is that Iran could quickly restart its program. Neither Saddam nor Assad chose to restart theirs, and there must have been good reasons they didn't. Charlie Brown may have been a sucker for Lucy every year, hoping against hope that she would not snatch back the ball while he was trying to kick it; but leaders like the Ayatollahs are faster learners than this: They know that if Israel could stop them in one strike, it could easily do so again if they tried to rebuild.

A couple of years ago, I considered that probably the greatest obstacle, to an Israeli strike, was the then massive presence of American sea and air power in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, forming a protective cordon around Iran. That cordon is gone today, and not likely to return.

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