AUTHORRaas, Whitney / Long, Austin
TITLEOsirak Redux? Assessing Israeli Capabilities to Destroy Iranian Nuclear Facilities
PERIODICAL TITLEInternational Security
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Available online from Harvard University

In this article assessing Israel’s capability (as of 2007) to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, the authors aim to evaluate the feasibility of such an attack. Citing the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) successful attack on the Iraqi reactor at Osirak in June 1981, the article questions whether or not Israel could realize similar success in an assault against Iranian nuclear facilities. With the U.S. already involved in Iraq and Israel having the most to fear from a nuclear-armed Iran, the article presupposes that Israel would be the most likely nation to take military action against Iran. After presenting an overview of the Osirak raid, the article describes the nature and locations of the Iranian nuclear facilities, estimates the types and quantity of weaponry required, discusses the relevant military forces the IAF and Iran possess, and evaluates potential attack routes. Finally, it considers the likely outcome of an Israeli attack and the broader implications such an action would have for military counterproliferation strategies. The article seems favorable in its assessment of Israeli capabilities, though it also warns against the high risks associated with an attack against Iran, specifically the likelihood and potential success of an Iranian counterattack. Detailed footnotes are included.

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