(photo credit: Courtesy)
While Israeli officials consistently talk about how “no option is off the table when it comes to Iran,” and how Israel cannot allow Iran to become a nuclear power, the Foreign Ministry is drawing up options for the possibility Teheran may indeed acquire the bomb.
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Revelations on Sunday of a Foreign Ministry team working on these contingency plans was the first admission that the government is giving serious thought to adjusting to a reality where Israel is no longer, according to foreign sources, the sole nuclear power in the region.
That the government is preparing various contingency plans for if it “wakes up one morning and there is a nuclear Iran” does not mean that Jerusalem has come to terms with this eventuality, but rather that it is preparing for it if it transpires, one government official explained.
“You prepare for a natural disaster even though you do everything in your power to make sure that it doesn’t happen,” the official said. “You have fire drills, even if you do everything you can to ensure that a fire never breaks out.”
The Foreign Ministry is not the only body drawing up “day after” options for Iran; the National Security Council is believed to be preparing similar papers as well.
Until now there has been very little public discussion of adjusting to the possible reality of a nuclear Iran; all of the focus has been on how to stop Teheran and mobilize the world in that direction.
In the US, by contrast, there have been discussions at various governmental levels and in the media about life with a nuclear Iran, with some voices saying this cannot be avoided, and that – like the balance of deterrence that existed in the days of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union – it need not necessarily be seen in apocalyptic terms.
In Israel, the government official said, the feeling is very much that
Iran with a bomb would indeed be a disaster, with no positive side to
Nonetheless it is a disaster which Israel, even while trying to avert, must prepare for, the official said.
The Foreign and Defense ministries regularly draw up contingency plans for any number of unwanted scenarios.
Foreign Ministry, for example, also has a team also preparing options
to present to the septet, security cabinet and government if the
Palestinian Authority carries out its threats to ask the UN General
Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.