Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
NEW! Members Only Forums!
Access more articles, news & discussion by becoming a PeakOil.com Member.
Page added on August 16, 2012
Matan Vilnai, who is stepping down as home front defence minister to become ambassador to China, said the country was “ready as never before”.
“The assessments are for a war that will last 30 days on a number of fronts,” he told the Maariv newspaper.
“It could be that there will be less fatalities, but it could be there will be more, that is the scenario that we are preparing for according to the best experts.”
Israel is convinced that archenemy Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, dismissing Tehran’s claims that its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes. Israel considers nuclear-armed Iran to be a mortal danger. Iran backs anti-Israel militants with funds and weapons, and its leaders often call for Israel’s destruction.
In his latest pronouncement, Iranian Supreme leader Ali Khamenei said Israel will disappear from “the scene of geography.” Addressing war veterans in Tehran on Wednesday, he said Iran considers it its “religious duty to save this Islamic country (Palestine) from the clutches of the Zionist occupiers.”
Israel’s leaders have indicated an attack is a possibility if they conclude the international community has failed to halt the Iranian nuclear program.
Mr Vilnai did not elaborate on how he reached his assessments, but his office relies on intelligence and other assessments about Iranian weapons capabilities and Israeli susceptibility. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has also said the Israeli death toll could be in the range of 500 in such a conflict.
“Just as the citizens of Japan have to realize that they can have earthquakes, so the citizens of Israel have to realize that if they live here, they have to be prepared to expect missiles on the home front,” Vilnai said. “It’s not pleasant for the home front, but decisions have to be made, and we have to be ready.”
At a news briefing in Washington on Tuesday, Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, reaffirmed the US assessment that Israel has not yet decided whether to strike, while the US military chief, Gen. Martin Dempsey, echoed a widely held assessment that an Israeli operation would only set back, not destroy, Iran’s nuclear project.