And thanks to Israel’s technological superiority, the vast, vast majority of the dead would be on the Iranian side. The analysis comes from CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman, who believes Israel might conceivably survive the exchange whereas Iran would re-enter the proverbial Stone Age. Even with less powerful and precise Iranian nukes, though, isn’t Israel small enough that the fallout would render most of the country toxic?

All out nuclear war between Israel and Iran: a doomsday scenario that we all fear deeply. A new study compiled by the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), headed by former Pentagon analyst Anthony H. Cordesman, explored just such a nightmare scenario, noting that it could lead to the death of between 16- 28 million Iranian civilians, and 200-800 thousand Israelis…

Given certain conditions, Israel could potentially survive such a nuclear scenario, the study found. Iran, on the other hand, would be completely and utterly obliterated. “Iranian recovery is not possible in the normal sense of term, though Israeli recovery is theoretically possible in population and economic terms,” wrote Cordesman, who compiled this study entitled “Iran, Israel, and Nuclear War”…

The bottom line, according to this study, is that Israel quite simply has more potent and effective bombs. Israel currently has a 1megaton (mt) nuclear bomb, whereas Iran does not yet have the ability to develop a bomb with more than 100 kilotons of power. What this means, in essence, is that the Israeli bomb can lead to three times as many casualties as its Iranian counterpart (chiefly due to third-degree burns), and has an “area of extreme lethality” (the range within which a nuclear bomb is fatal) ten-times as great…

Cordseman also noted that Iran would have lower fission yields, and less accurate force into cluster targeting on Israel’s two largest urban complexes, and that the Iranian side would also most likely be thwarted by Israel’s missile defense systems. Notable among these is the “Arrow 2” anti-ballistic missile which could most potentially shoot down most nuclear missiles launched by Iran.

Follow the link to find out what happens if Syria and Egypt enter the fray. Hint: 20 million more casualties and some radical terraforming of Cairo. Exit question: Is Qom, a Shiite holy city, really one of the Iranian cities on Israel’s hit list? Every Shiite in the world (i.e., Lebanon and Iraq) would have a mortal grievance with Israel after that, although I suppose that’s a minor concern after you’ve just been through nuclear war.

Tags: Egypt Israel