Hardline Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has commissioned a report on how to prepare for a nuclear-armed Iran as doubt mounts about the efficacy of preventive action, an Israeli source said on Monday.
Publicly, Israel has pledged to deny the Iranians the means to make a bomb but its previous, centrist government also discreetly drew up “day after” contingency plans should Tehran’s uranium enrichment pass the military threshold.
At the time, rightist opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu called for Israel to consider preemptive strikes against its arch-foe’s nuclear sites. Now prime minister, Netanyahu has reined in such rhetoric while not ruling out the use of force.
In a sign the government is examining a full range of options, Lieberman, the most hawkish member of Netanyahu’s coalition, has ordered ministry strategists to draft a paper on “what to do if we wake up and discover the Iranians have a nuclear weapon,” said the senior Israeli political source, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Considering the fact that Israeli leaders have been sounding the alarm about Iran’s “imminent” acquisition of nuclear weapons for over a decade, it’s a bit late in the day to be working on a “day after” plan. Indeed, it suggests rather strongly that despite warning that another Holocaust might be just around the corner, the leaders of a nation protected by its own arsenal of around 200 nuclear weapons has never been quite as afraid of Iran as they claimed.