Nel numero di aprile 2012 vi segnalo i primi due articoli, entrambi sul programma nucleare iraniano. In particolare in “An Attack on Iran: the Morning After” Ephraim Kam analizza le possibili reazioni ad un attacco israeliano e ad un attacco americano:
There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the consequences of a military operation in Iran because of the many variables, chief among them the extent of damage to the nuclear facilities. This factor would
have the greatest effect on both the amount of time the Iranian nuclear program would be delayed and the severity of the Iranian response. In any case, it is clear that the results of the operation would be much more impressive if carried out by the US rather than Israel.
Assessing the Iranian response is an important factor in any decision by Israel or the US to embark on a military operation against Iran. There is little doubt that Iran would respond to the attack, by itself or through its proxies, and that such a response might be painful. However, some considerations are likely to restrain and curtail Iran’s response, first of all Iran’s limited military capabilities and its fear of an extensive conflict with the US, in the case of an American attack. Therefore it is more likely that the circle of confrontation would include Iran and its proxies, Israel, the US, and perhaps also some of the Gulf states, in a limited scope. However, the probability of a regional conflict seems low.
Even if an Israeli attack is successful, it carries several risks: in addition to Iran’s response, Israel would face a wave of international criticism, at least in the short term, and would perhaps also have to deal with sanctions; Israel would be blamed for the increase in oil prices; and the Muslim and Arab world would see waves of criticism and fury against Israel liable to damage Israel’s relations with Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.
Moreover, an Israeli attack would apparently not stop the Iranian nuclear project for more than a few years, and Iran would seek to exploit the attack to gain legitimacy for its nuclear program, rid itself of inspections and sanctions, and even attempt to break out towards nuclear arms. The worst scenario of all would be a failed attack, because the nuclear threat would remain in place and Israel’s deterrence would be damaged.
Should an attack be carried out by the US, the chances for success would be significantly increased. America’s operational capabilities would allow it to undertake repeated attacks on the nuclear sites and
thereby increase the damage to them, earning a longer postponement of Iran’s nuclear arms ambition or persuading Iran to abandon the project altogether. Nonetheless, even an American attack would bear its own
risks: an Iranian missile and/or terrorism response against the US and Israel and perhaps also US allies in the Gulf, increased oil prices, and criticism and fury around the world directed at the US and Israel.
At the same time, should a military operation be successful and Iran’s acquisition of nuclear arms be delayed by several years, this would have strategic significance: there would be a window of opportunity for eliminating Iran’s nuclear development; Iran’s regional status could be weakened, thus also weakening the radical camp in the area; the Israeli and/or US deterrence against Iran would be strengthened; the position of the US in the region, which has declined in the last ten years in part because of its entanglement in Iraq, would be enhanced; and the selfconfidence of the Gulf states vis-à-vis Iran would be strengthened.