By Ismail Salami – Tehran
There is a strong speculation that Israel is bound to mount an attack on Iranian nuclear sites, a threat which the Zionist regime has frequently repeated and an idea which, if translated into action, will bring about apocalyptic consequences for the Zionist entity.
Reportedly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently sought to drum up cabinet support for a military strike against the nuclear sites of the Islamic republic of Iran. In joint efforts with the defense minister Ehud Barak, Netanyahu has succeeded in wringing support for such a reckless act from the skeptics who were already opposed to launching an attack on Iran. Among those he managed to convince was Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
There are still those in the Israeli cabinet who are against such a move including Interior Minister Eli Yishai of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, Strategic Affairs Minister and Netanyahu confidant Moshe Yaalon, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, army chief Benny Gantz, the head of Israel’s intelligence agency Tamir Pardo, the chief of military intelligence Aviv Kochavi and the head of Israel’s domestic intelligence agency Yoram Cohen.
However, the support voiced by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is considered an ace in the hole for Netanyahu who also enjoys the full-throated support of Washington.
In a show of military prowess and obvious brinkmanship, Israel test-fired a nuke capable missile on Wednesday which cannot be taken as a coincidence considering the threat made by Netanyahu.
"Israel today carried out the test-firing of a rocket propulsion system from the Palmachim base," a Defense Ministry statement said. "This had been long planned by the Defense establishment and was carried out as scheduled."
Echoing his old familiar comments about Iran, Netanyahu said in a parliamentary address on Monday, "A nuclear Iran will pose a serious threat to the Middle East and the entire world, and it of course poses a direct and heavy threat to us."
Also on Wednesday, Israeli Foreign Minister accused Iran of being “the largest, most dangerous threat to the current world order”, adding that Israel expects the international community to “step up efforts to act against it.”
Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s strategic affairs minister, told Army Radio on Tuesday, "The military option (against Iran) is not an empty threat, but Israel should not leap to lead it. The whole thing should be lead by the United States, and as a last resort."
There seems to be a united front against Iran in the Israeli cabinet but as far as a military strike is concerned, there is a difference of opinion as to the sanity of such an act and the looming consequences it may incur.
Be it as it may, one of the main factors which render such an act implausible is that Israel is well aware of Iran’s military competence and self-sufficiency.
From a military point of view, Iran is known as the best in the region and one of the best in the world in terms of missile industry.
The successful production of the short-, medium- and long-range missiles Shahab (Meteor) and Sejjil (Baked Clay), Saqeb (falling stone) and Sayyad (Hunter), Fateh (Conqueror) and Zelzal (Temblor), Misaq (Covenant) and Ra’ad (Thunder), Toufan (Storm) and Safar (Journey) bears testimony to this claim. The country has so far succeeded in producing more than 50 types of high-tech missiles as part of its deterrent strategy for enhancing military might as it has always been exposed to threats by the Zionist regime and Washington.
The recent Iranian missile Qader (powerful), a magnum achievement, is a sea-launched cruise missile which has a highly destructive power and can eliminate frigates, warships as well as any coastal targets. With a range of over 200 kilometers, the missile can evade any highly advanced radar systems.
Modeled on the Nodong-1, Shahab (meteor) III, one of the great missile achievements of the country, is a medium-range ballistic missile designed to hit targets within the range of up to 2000 kilometers. Generally considered as a nightmare for Israel, the missile was test-fired on July 8. 2008 and has been upgraded since then to an impeccable standard.
A senior IRGC commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh has already stated that Iran has the know-how to build missiles with over 2,000 kilometers but since the US and Israeli targets are within the reach of the current missiles, the country does not see any point in doing so.
“Iran’s missiles have a range of up to 2,000 kilometers and have been designed for US and the Zionist regime (Israel)’s bases in the region,” he added.
According to the Iranian commander, as there is a distance of 1,200 kilometers between Iran and Israel, Iran is already capable of targeting the Zionist regime with the current missiles. Needless to say, Sejjil (Baked Clay) and Shahab missiles rank among the missiles capable of targeting objects within a range of 2,000 kilometers.
With over 50 types of state-of-the-art missiles at its disposal, Iran is readily capable of delivering a death blow to any aggressor who ventures to violate its soil. However, Iran has frequently said its military might poses no threat to other countries and that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.
As the Leader of the Islamic revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said the “main objective of producing weapons in Iran is defending the country against bullying enemies” while in the West, “the main reason for weapons production is increasing the wealth of the weapons cartels.”
Regardless of Iran’s military might in countering any audacious aggression, Israel is standing on its last feet as poverty and social strife are rampant in the country and the people have already begun pressing their hands on Tel Aviv’s throat.
It matters little on what grounds the idea of attacking Iran was articulated in the minds of the Israelis or who was the initial originator of this imbecilic notion.
What is important is that an Israeli attack will not only disturb the political equilibrium in the Middle East but it will inflict losses of inconceivable proportions upon the Zionist entity as well. It would not be an exaggeration to state that a military strike by Israel on Iran is tantamount to a final nail in the coffin of Zionism.
– Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian author and political analyst. A prolific writer, he has written numerous books and articles on the Middle East. His articles have been translated into a number of languages. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.