What to Do About Iran In The Meantime

by Maskil on February 17, 2009

I started making notes for this post about two weeks ago, and now wish I’d completed it sooner; this article on the Ynetnews website has pretty much taken the wind out of my sails.

The idea of the post was to explore the options – short of a full scale military operation – available to Israel in order to damage, delay or derail Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, and the delivery mechanism to go along. This is what I’d come up with:

  1. Continue to gather detailed intelligence regarding the programs, facilities and people involved in developing Iran’s WMD capabilities. Where appropriate, share output of that intelligence with Israel’s allies.
  2. Continue to gather detailed intelligence regarding the companies, individuals and research bodies supplying material or skills that assist Iran’s quest. Where appropriate, share that information with the governments concerned, and pro-Israel organisations in the affected countries. Name and shame in the media where appropriate.
  3. Identify shipments of nuclear-related components to Iran, and pressure affected companies and governments to prevent shipping. If necessary, in the case of critical components, take covert or direct action to ensure that they do not reach their destinations.
  4. Create a detailed database of scientists, technicians and administrators involved in Iran’s WMD programs, and ensure that these individuals become aware that their roles have been noted.
  5. Use sabotage and other deniable covert action against critical components, facilities and targets, both within and outside of Iran.

In all cases, extreme precautions should be taken to ensure that Israel’s human intelligence and other assets in Iran and elsewhere are not compromised.

In an ideal world, the UN and the Western World would have already stepped in to neutralise this existential threat to a vulnerable member of the family of nations. In the absence of such action – and with Israel apparently being discouraged or prevented from initiating military operations – Israel should investigate all other means to prevent Iran from joining the Holocaust club. A combination of all the following options may succeed in at least slowing Iran down until the West can be brought to its senses: detailed intelligence, sharing of intelligence, pressure on affected governments, use of the media and NGOs, naming and shaming of organisations and individuals, and covert or direct action

Sadly, once again, it appears that Israel will need to retain responsibility for its own fate.

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