TEL AVIV – The IDF is capable of destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities with a preemptive strike, the head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) said on Saturday.
“The Israeli Air Force can meet the challenge of destroying Iran’s nuclear reactors if necessary,” Maj Gen (ret.) Amos Yadlin said in a speech reported by Channel 10 news.
Yadlin, who served as an IAF commander as well as the IDF’s military attaché to Washington, stated that if Israel were to find itself at an “intersection where you have to choose between two alternatives: One is whether Iran will have a bomb and we do nothing … and the second is whether to conduct a preemptive action to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon,” then Israel would be capable of destroying the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.
Yadlin also made reference to similar operations in the past that met with success. These include Operation Opera, in which Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, and the destruction of a Syrian nuclear facility in 2007.
He noted that both operations drew sharp criticism of Israel, even though the country never claimed responsibility in the case of Syria.
Yadlin noted that if the Syrian nuclear program were still active, “It would be under the Islamic State’s control today.”
Still, Yadlin noted, there was much to be thankful for. The IDF is still “the strongest [army] in the Middle East. We have a very strong deterrence against our enemies and we have two peace agreements [Egypt and Jordan] that have been maintained despite instability in the region.”