On the Road


U.S. House Resolution 1553, to which about one third of House Republicans have signed on, would in fact give Israel a green light for striking Iran’s nuclear facilities. Repeating ad nauseam perceived threats by Iran and, in particular its president Ahmadinejad, of Israel and even the U.S., and certain misconceptions as regards Iran’s alleged violation of its obligations as signatory of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) the resolution reads,

“Whereas the United States does not want or seek war with Iran, but it will continue to keep all options open to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives –

(1) condemns the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its threats of annihilating” the United States and the State of Israel, for its continued support of international terrorism, and for its incitement of genocide of the Israeli people;

(2) supports using all means of persuading the Government of Iran to stop building and acquiring nuclear weapons;

(3) reaffirms the United States bond with Israel and pledges to continue to work with the Government of Israel and the people of Israel to ensure that their sovereign nation continues to receive critical economic and military assistance, including missile defense capabilities, needed to address the thread of Iran; and

(4) expresses support for Israel’s right to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran, defend Israeli sovereignty, and protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time.” (Emphasis added.)

This comes after the foreseeable shipwreck of the so-called ‘swap deal’ of last year’s negotiations with Iran and its revival in the Tehran Declaration angrily prohibited. After new UN, and U.S. unilateral, sanctions imposed on Iran. It comes at a time when U.S. intelligence has not been able to provide a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the Iranian ‘threat’ which purpose is to revert the controversial 2007 NIE having stated that Iran had halted its alleged military nuclear program in 2003 and not resumed in late 2007. And after an allegedly defected nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, has probably turned out to be a double agent and returned to Iran.

Israel is currently again entertaining possible scenarios for an attack. As Batsheva Sobelman for the Babylon & Beyond blog kindly translates:

“From Israel to Saudi Arabia and then to Iran. 1,600 km, refueling over Saudi Arabia. The only scenario that allows passing through one country’s airspace.

From Israel to Jordan and then to Iran. 1,600 km, refueling over Iraq, not far from border with Iran. Israel would have to get permission from two countries for use of airspace.

From Israel to Jordan, then Saudi Arabia, then to Iran. 2,000 km, refueling over Saudi Arabia near its borders with Iraq and Kuwait. Recent reports that Saudi Arabia granted silent permission for Israel to use its airspace were denied.

From Israel to Syria, then to Turkey, then to Iran. 1,800 km, refueling over southeast Turkey, near its borders with Iraq and Iran. Considering Israel’s nose-diving relations with Turkey, use of Turkish airspace is not taken for granted.

From Israel to Syria, then to Iraq and on to Iran. 1,500 km, refueling over north Iraq. It’s a shortcut but pretty unlikely, said the report.”

I suppose, it is clear to everyone that one way of effectively obliterating Iran’s deeply dug-in nuclear facilities would be using at least median-range missiles with nuclear warheads, for example, the Jericho II. The above scenarios are also missing the fact that Israel has already deployed submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf, near the Iranian coastline.

Given Israel’s ambiguity in any nuclear matters, scenarios involving air strikes with fighter jets and airspace permissions are highly unlikely in fact misleading.

Note that the map has been posted by Michael McCullough on his blog exactly one year ago.

Last update July 24, 2010.

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