Sunday 25 Feb 2018 | 15:20 | SYDNEY
Sunday 25 Feb 2018 | 15:20 | SYDNEY

More on Iran's retaliation options



23 July 2008 19:03

Judah Grunstein from World Politics Review refers me to an interview with Iran expert Gary Sick, which includes reference to one form of Iranian reprisal to an Israeli strike that I did not include on my list the other day. Sick says Iran could respond to an Israeli strike by leaving the NPT regime and developing a completely unmonitored underground nuclear capability.

That is certainly a serious risk and should be added to my list. Sick is right that the IAEA has been important in monitoring the Iranian program and is a critical source of information about its progress. Losing that insight would itself be destabilising, since the less governments know about what's going on, the more likely they will be to assume the worst.

So what does this mean for Israel's calculus? The risk of a future unmonitored program in the aftermath of an Israeli strike would have to be weighed against the risk of what Israel will face if it does not strike. The judgments Israel makes about how successful its strike is likely to be, and how far it will set Iran back, will be crucial in deciding how to weigh these probabilities.

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