Israeli Military Rolls Out Scenarios to Strike Iran, But Doubts Consequences
14:55 GMT 29.12.2021 (Updated: 17:25 GMT 15.01.2023)
In recent weeks, Israel has ramped up concerns around Iran's nuclear programme, reiterating that Tel Aviv will not allow the Islamic Republic to become a nuclear state. The assertions come as the Vienna talks to possibly revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) entered their eighth round earlier this week.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have presented the country's government with several scenarios of possible attacks against Iranian targets, but underlined that it is difficult to assess the possible outcome of such strikes or their impact on Tehran's nuclear programme, Haaretz reported
According to the report, the IDF received an additional budget of a billion shekels (some $2.9 billion) in order to beef up its arsenal with advanced weapons, improve the bank of military targets, and conduct drills - all of this in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.
Military officials asserted they are "ready to strike Iran" as soon as the government greenlights such a move, per Haaretz. Among the possible consequences of the strike, the IDF predicts "a round of fighting with Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in the Gaza Strip".
Still, according to the reported IDF assessments, Iran has significantly improved its air defence systems along with its missile arsenal.
"The Iranians have also managed to significantly increase their arsenal of long-range missiles, which can easily hit any point in Israel", the report noted, adding that the developments have prompted additional investments in air defence systems in Israel.
The report echoes allegations previously voiced by Israel that Tehran may have an intention to develop a nuclear bomb - something that the IDF claims could happen within two years, should Iran indeed have such a goal.
The Israeli concerns are being raised as international negotiators convene in Vienna for the eighth round of talks to revive the JCPOA - a 2015 nuclear deal that envisaged Tehran scaling back its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. The accord, abandoned by former US President Donald Trump in 2018, has drawn little enthusiasm from Israel, which appears to oppose the very idea of Tehran developing its nuclear programme.
As the Vienna talks continue after the Christmas break, the Israeli government has already indicated that it will be ready to "act alone" in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state
- even despite the Islamic Republic repeatedly stating that it has no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons.
Tehran also underlined that it does not have any intention
to increase its uranium enrichment level over 60% - a number it has already reached, significantly eclipsing the JCPOA-allowed enrichment level of 3.67%. The Islamic Republic started to gradually step away from its nuclear commitments after Trump exited the deal, but said it only is increasing the enrichment levels for civilian purposes, not weapons development.