Reuters: Israel preparing for a nuclear Iran

Yes, yes, it’s the job of governments to plan for all contingencies, but in that case why is Olmert’s office denying the report? Israel has the will to stop them but probably not the means; the U.S. may have the means but probably doesn’t have the will. And no one knows for sure just how far along Iran is, least of all stooge central, which pronounces its knowledge of the Iranian program as diminishing notwithstanding those warhead-design blueprints Iran shared with them on Tuesday: “The UN watchdog remained unable to ascertain that Iran did not have a secret, parallel military enrichment program because Tehran was still denying inspector visits to anything but its few declared nuclear facilities.”

Invest in reinforced concrete and canned food. Oh, and in submarines.

Israel is quietly preparing for the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran despite public pledges to deny its arch-foe the means to pose an “existential threat,” Israeli political and defense sources said on Thursday…

[T]wo senior Israeli sources with knowledge of the Olmert government’s defense planning said a secret memorandum was being prepared about “the day after” Iran has own atomic warheads.

“There are long-term ramifications to be addressed, like how to maintain our deterrent and military response capabilities, or how to off-set the attrition on Israeli society that would be generated by fear of Iranian nukes,” one source said…

[Defense Minister Ehud] Barak has championed Israel’s development of a ballistic defense system to fend off any future Iran nuclear strike.

Israel is also building up a fleet of German-made submarines which are believed to carry nuclear missiles, a message that any catastrophic Iranian attack would be repaid in kind.

The submarines are nice but they presume, of course, that an MAD deterrent will work on Islamic fundamentalists when that’s really the whole question, isn’t it? Lest we end on that sour note, though, have a look at this intriguing report from the Independent about a former top Iranian nuke negotiator who’s been charged with passing information to the west. There’s a glimmer of hope here if the charges are true, since it would suggest some element favoring capitulation on western demands within the upper echelons of the regime. Strong hawks would scoff at that possibility, though, and dismiss this as a dog and pony show meant to suggest a “rational” wing among the mullahs when there is none. Still, it’s worth noting that the accused traitor, Hossein Mousavian, was arrested six months ago, not recently, which is quite a time horizon for a dog and pony show. On the other hand, if Mousavian really is a traitor, what was he doing at the side of Ahmadinejad’s nemesis, Rafsanjani, when the latter gave a speech this week urging caution in pushing too hard against the west on nukes? If people seriously believed Mousavian’s been passing secrets, he’d be political poison, no? Or is this Rafsanjani’s way of suggesting that the charges against him were trumped up to try to silence a voice more conciliatory towards the west than Ahmadinejad’s?

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