Israel Can Curb a Nuclear Iran

...Unlike a "crazy" or "mad" adversary, which would have no discernible order of preferences, an irrational Iranian leadership might still maintain a distinct and consistent hierarchy of wants. The pinnacle or very top of this hierarchy would almost certainly be represented by abundantly clear and widely held religious values.

Although such an Iranian leadership might not be successfully deterred by the more usual threats of military destruction -- because a canonical Shiite eschatology could genuinely welcome "end times" confrontations with "unbelievers" -- it might still refrain from any attacks that could elicit credible harms to its most basic religious values. An overriding Iranian concern for safeguarding the holy city of Qom, for example, comes immediately to mind.

It is also plausible that an Iranian leadership would simultaneously value certain of its prime military institutions, and could also be deterred by compelling and possibly coincident threats to these institutions. A pertinent consideration would be the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the power behind the Iranian dictatorship, the principal foe of the Iranian people, and the current leadership's main instrument of repression. Here, it could be purposeful for Jerusalem to hold at risk the Guard's physical facilities, its terrorist training camps, its navy of small attack boats, its missile program, the homes of its leaders, and even its space program....

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