Iranian Nuclear Threat to Israel: Legal Remedies and Remaining Options

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Israel should not expect stable coexistence with a nuclear Iran. Instead, it must enhance active defense, improve nuclear deterrence and target selected Iranian infrastructures. As Tehran edges closer to gaining nuclear capabilities, however, Israeli preemption tactics are becoming far more limited.

On January 16, 2003, the "Project Daniel" Group advised then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons.(1) This report, which contained substantial legal and strategic recommendations, urged the prime minister to suitably enhance Israel’s deterrence and defense postures; to consider a prompt end to deliberate nuclear ambiguity (if Iran should be permitted to become nuclear); and to appropriately refine pertinent preemption options. It also concluded that Israel should not expect stable coexistence with a nuclear Iran and that active national defense should be increased and strengthened accordingly....

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