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The Fruits of Peace
Iran: We Can Wipe Out Israel in 8 Minutes

The peaceful tone that has emanated from Tehran since the nuclear deal continues to reassure us. The Times of Israel reports:

Ahmad Karimpour, a senior adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite unit al-Quds Force, said if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave the order to destroy Israel, the Iranian military had the capacity to do so quickly.

“If the Supreme Leader’s orders [are] to be executed, with the abilities and the equipment at our disposal, we will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes,” Karimpour said Thursday, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

A senior Iranian general on May 9 announced that the country’s armed forces successfully tested a precision-guided, medium-range ballistic missile two weeks earlier that could reach Israel, the state-run Tasnim agency reported.

“We test-fired a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and a margin of error of eight meters,” Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi was quoted as saying at a Tehran science conference. The eight-meter margin means the “missile enjoys zero error,” he told conference participants.

That test, which was one in a series, received the usual reaction from the Administration: a bit of handwringing, no substantial action (because the Administration—and other veto-holding members of the Security Council—holds that such tests violate the UN Resolution that implemented the Iran Deal, not the deal itself, and this makes all the difference), and quickly moving on.

The Administration has previously characterized Iran’s anti-Israel statements as “rhetoric” designed for “domestic consumption.” It is true that in much of the Middle East, ranting about Israel is a domestic legitimating tool. But how many other regimes are working on developing missiles that can hit Israel as they do so?

And a final thought: what exactly are they planning on putting on top of those missiles that will allow them to hit that 8 minute mark? From events in Syria and Iraq to Yemen, from the elections to the missile tests, the peace created by the Iran Deal continues to inspire us all.

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  • Frank Natoli

    The Administration has previously characterized Iran’s anti-Israel statements as “rhetoric” designed for “domestic consumption.”
    Right. And the promises in Mein Kampf would also moderate once the man was in power for a while.
    Not to fear. The fissile, bomb-grade U-235 being extracted at Natanz, courtesy of the fellow elected twice by the majority of Americans, will be used for peaceful nuclear explosions.

  • Andrew Allison

    This empty boast overlooks the MAD factor. If Israel detects incoming missiles, it will use it’s own nuclear weapons to destroy Iran and, perhaps, a few other anti-Israel hotspots (hopefully not including Washington DC). That said, the only word for the US administration which has made this threat possible is contemptible.

    • f1b0nacc1

      The problem is that MAD only works when both parties can be deterred, and I am increasingly unsure that this is the case with Iran. There are several factions within the government that are of questionable rationality at best, and they may in fact consider the destruction of Israel a worthwhile gain. Many of the true hard-line elements in Iran are from the countryside, and view the risk of an Israeli counterstrike (which would be focused by necessity on urban areas) as an acceptable price to pay. This may sound insane to you and I (and I agree it *is* insane), it is nonetheless a sincerely held belief among many of the more extreme groups in the government.
      Your last sentence says it all.

      • Angel Martin

        I think the danger of relying on deterrence wrt Iran cannot be overstated. We know very little about the decision making process within Iran, and who actually has final decision making authority.

        How do you conduct a negotiation or even deter a threat when you don’t know if you are dealing with the organ grinder or the monkey ?

        • f1b0nacc1

          We concur….but let me offer the following observation: We don’t know who has final decision making authority or even if anyone actually does have such authority. There are numerous factions within Iran, and several of them operate almost as independent states within themselves. A good parallel could be made with the Pakistani security apparatus, which operates pretty much independently of the ‘official’ government itself.

    • adk

      Bernard Lewis explains why MAD doesn’t work with Iranian Leadership.

      “There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other

      governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can

      only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran’s present rulers.

      This worldview and expectation, vividly expressed in speeches, articles and

      even schoolbooks…”

      It was written back in 2006 yet the rulers and the ideology are still the same.

      • Andrew Allison

        Both you and my good friend f1b0 are missing the point. MAD doesn’t stand for mutually assured deterrence. If Iran is stupid enough to attempt to annihilate Israel, it will be annihilated. As I recall, the current nuclear warhead ratio is 30:0.

        • f1b0nacc1

          More like 300 – 0 right now, but Israel is a MUCH smaller country, often called a “1 bomb state” though it is more like a six bomb state. I am reminded of a (truly awful) technothriller set during a Russian-Chinese war….as the Chinese were advancing, the Russians released a propoganda statement that they would ‘fight to the last Russian’, the Chinese promptly responded ‘when the last Russian is dead, there will still be 10 Chinese’. There are some in the leadership in Iran that wouldn’t see the destruction of the urban areas of Persia too high a price to pay for the end of Israel, especially since some portion of their bedrock followers in the hinterlands would likely survive.

          I don’t entirely agree (the Israelis have some extremely nasty surprises up their sleeves along these lines), but I have little doubt that some of the dimmer bulbs in Iran neither know this, nor care.

          And thank you…I regard you as a good friend too!

        • adk

          MAD is not a law of nature, it’s a one-off that sort of worked against the Soviet Union, but to extrapolate it beyond that would be a major mistake. For one thing, as Bernard Lewis pointed out, the Iranian mullahs don’t think as the atheist communists did. Here’s what former Iran president Rafsanjani said on al Quds Day, Dec. 14, 2001: “If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists’ strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”

          And that guy is presumed to be “moderate”.

          • Andrew Allison

            You too are missing the point. If Iran were to launch a strike, it would be destroyed. I made no suggestion as to the possibility of that happening, just the outcome if it does. Israel not only has a sufficient number of nuclear warheads to obliterate Iran, but can deliver them via intermediate range ballistic missile, fighter aircraft and submarines. The fallout would not just be regional; the world must pray that Iran is not so stupid as to actually attempt a first strike.

          • adk

            We are talking apples and oranges. Yes, Israel would probably be able to wipe Iran off the map in a retaliatory strike but so what if the Jewish state and the Jewish people would be destroyed forever? From Israel’s point of view, the only reason for having nuclear weapons is to prevent such an outcome. Courtesy of the current US administration, Iran is on course to get their nukes and Israel’s options now are severely limited.

            They can hope that Iranian mullahs are not as mad as they appear but that’s about all.

  • Felix Keverich

    As a Russian, I have a lot of respect for Iran. These guys mean business. They’ve been under US sanctions for decades, survived and came out on top. As America begins to disengage from the world, the future of the Middle East belongs to Iran.

  • Blackbeard

    Bernie Sanders has indicated that part of the price for his acquiesce to Hillary will be a plank in the Democratic Party platform promising a more “evenhanded” approach to the ME and respect for the Palestinians legitimate claims. So don’t think the Democrats after Obama will be any better.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Possibly, but I don’t think so for two reasons:
      1) Promises from Hillary aren’t worth the paper that they are printed on
      2) Party Platforms are essentially worthless, honored more in the breach than anything else

      • Blackbeard

        Both true and yet the platform has important symbolic imprtance. Remember what happened in 2012 at the Democratic convention when the rank and file wanted to junk several long-standing provisions generally supportive of Israel? The vote from the floor was clearly anti-Israel but the chair kept calling the question and finally declared the pro-Israel planks in although it was clear the vote didn’t support that conclusion. There was loud booing from the floor when this happened. What this showed was that the grassroots was moving away from support of Israel but the Democratic Party leadership wasn’t willing to make this public yet. I suspect that this is the year it will become public.

        I wonder if this will make any difference to Jewish voters (and donors).

        • f1b0nacc1

          To address your last point first….no, it won’t matter to Jewish voters (and donors) the bulk of whom long ago abandoned their deracinated Judaism for a more ‘virile’ belief in liberalism. Sad, but true….sadder still because they forget the less of what happened to their forefathers who made the same mistake in Europe.
          Your first point is quite correct in the terms of its symbolism, but only that. The short and mid-term effects won’t be significant, the long-term ones might be. Of course I wonder if the Middle East situation will even be an issue in the long term….

  • Nevis07

    Iran can try. But Iran also won’t exist afterwards, so…

  • Angel Martin

    It’s all rhetoric, don’t worry.

    We have a nuclear treaty with Iran and Ben Rhodes assures us that Iran will keep their end of the bargain.

  • Beauceron

    I think the US spends far too much time and money on Israel. It’s an ally, but it’s a relatively small, unimportant ally. For starters, we should stop giving them so much money in aid. It’s insane how much largesse we pile on a small country of only 8 million people:

    • f1b0nacc1

      Most (not all, certainly, but most) of the aid we give Israel is in the form of credits, which the Israelis are compelled to spend with American companies. Hence the money gets ‘recycled’ back to American firms most of the time. Now you can certainly criticize this on a lot of levels (crony capitalism comes immediately to mind), but in terms of the actual volume of money given…it really isn’t that much, and we do end up with quite a bit in return

      • Angel Martin

        the other thing the West gets from Israel is unique intelligence and linguistic capabilities that we don’t possess.

        Israeli intelligence is the best on Iran, Assad and Egypt. And their translators are jews – not muslim security risks or out and out spies.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Particularly when it comes to software technologies, the Israelis contribute far in excess of their numbers. Have a chat with anyone working with high-end aerospace technologies and you will get a very similar assessment.

          • Angel Martin

            I remember speaking with a guy that had come out of the Israeli Army. During his time in, he had participated in a joint exercise with USA. The Americans had a piece of equipment that was “USA eyes only” – even though it was actually made in Israel…

          • f1b0nacc1

            The software running on many of those pieces of equipment often comes from Israel as well….

    • kingschitz

      Beauceron: You’re several light years off topic. The question of U.S. aid to Israel may be debatable but has no relevance to the danger here. Iran is threatening with annihilation a Triad-capable nuclear power with ICBMs, several highly advanced subs with SLBMs and an ATG nuclear capability from jets using stand off munitions.

      Indeed, I’d go a step further and guess that Israel’s stockpile includes tacticals, neutrons, and weapons up and down the megatonnage scale. That means they’ve got options if genuinely threatened by these maniacs.

      I’m not thinking of Israel. I’m not even thinking of the U.S., but of the tens of millions of innocents likely to be incinerated in such an exchange. The U.S. Is supposed to be a status quo power. Bush 43 forgot that point and Obama never grasped it.

      Heaven help all of us.

  • CosmotKat

    Based on the stories regarding the lies and deceit that built this agreement would anyone wonder why this administration would say little and want to move on? The desire to embrace our enemies and stab our friends in the back seem to be the all encompassing ideology of this far left administration.

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