Op-Ed: Israel's EMP Attack Can Send Iran Back to the Stone Age
Dr. Joe TuzaraBorn in Manila, American by choice, the author is a former clinical research-physician-general surgeon for Saudi Arabian, Philippine and American healthcare systems and currently an American freelance writer as well as op-ed contributor.
As Iran miscalculates Israeli resolve, it is clear that the diplomatic dance of deceit and empty bluster for years is over. The die is cast and Israel has crossed the Rubicon, since a significant spectacle of events is set to begin to work against Iran come October.
While the onus is on Iran to abide by its international obligations, the wild card is in Israel’s hand - with Electrnonic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) inscribed on it. Since diplomacy and sanctions were an abject failure, war has become inevitable and preparations for preventing Iran’s rapid nuclear progress have, thus far, accelerated.
Despite Israel’s highly advanced technology and strategic military advantage, Israel’s fear of an Iranian existential threat is understandable. In any case, Israel has done it the past with flawless precision when it destroyed Iraq's Osiraq reactor in 1981 and a Syrian reactor being built by North Koreans in 2007. Both surprise attacks were immensely successful and kept Israel’s enemies scratching their heads in disbelief, stunning the world.
Iran has reached the ‘zone of immunity.’
There are five solid reasons that Iran has now entered what Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak termed as the “zone of immunity”:
Second, Iran has accelerated its forced projection and tested ballistic missiles delivery system in an EMP mode with North Korean assistance.
Thirdl, Iran’s stockpile of low grade enriched uranium can be converted to five nuclear weapons if refined further, according to the Institute for Science and International Security.
Fourth, satellite imagery shows mega-fortification of underground nuclear facilities impervious to U.S. super bunker buster bombs.
Finally, Iran has started the process of loading 163 fuel rods into the core of Bushehr nuclear power plant reactor.
In light of the latest developments, there is no question that Iran is now a de facto nuclear state - a “casus belli” for Israeli military action. Although the military option is unattractive and untenable, failure to act would be much worse if Iran got the atomic bomb.
A large majority of Israelis and Americans believes that Israel would be better off if the U.S. would lead the attack on Iran.
For the most part, Israel’s dilemma is focused singly on the use of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) without informing the U.S. Regardless of the consequences, the U.S. would have no choice but to support Israel. The stakes are simply too high to ignore this time. However, trust deficit and loss of U.S. credibility compels Israel not to depend on others to protect the Jewish people.
The reality on the ground is revealing: Iran needs only one or two nuclear bombs to start a thermonuclear war against Israel and the United States, to hasten what these religious nuts believe is the coming of the Islamic messiah.
Evidentially, a nuclear-capable Iran can unleash a single atomic bomb on Israel with simultaneous asymmetric proxy attacks in the U.S. and other western targets. But thanks to heaven - and Israel - the Islamic republic is not there yet.
In addition, intelligence sources have now indicated Iran is within two years of bringing the Islamic revolution to the U.S. in the form of an EMP attack.
So the game-changer would be a significant EMP event that would take Iranians back to the Stone Age.
What would an EMP attack look like?
If Israel chooses one of its Jericho III missiles to detonate a single EMP warhead at high altitude over north central Iran, there will be with no blast or radiation effects on the ground.
Coupled with cyber-attacks, Iranians would not know it happened except for a massive shutdown of the electric power grid, oil refineries and a transportation gridlock. Food supply would be exhausted and communication would be largely impossible, leading to economic collapse. Similarly, the uranium enrichment centrifuges in Fordo, Natanz and widely scattered elsewhere, would freeze for decades.
Iran’s response to an EMP attack would be futile and uncannily tragic. Before the elite Qods force could mine the Strait of Hormuz and wreak havoc to Arab Gulf states oil refineries, the Fifth Fleet and U.S. military installations, Iran’s administrative-industrial-military complex infrastructures would have been laid to waste without the ruling clerical regime knowing about it
In this scenario, a rain of missiles from Lebanon’s Hizbullah, Hamas in Gaza would have to be endured by Israel. Frankly, one thing is certain- Israel won’t nuke Iran unless it unleashes chemical, biological or nuclear weapons to Israel's enemies.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has stressed that Israel would consider the transfer of Syrian chemical weapons to Hizbullah a "casus belli" and act "without hesitation or restraint."
On a constructive note, Iranian Green opposition forces would have an opportunity to take to the darkened streets of Tehran and rid themselves of the fanatical regime.
Hence, if Iran doesn’t blink, Israel certainly will attack in the fall with no ifs and or buts.
Furthermore, the mathematical probability of Iran winning the war is naught, since as Israel knows best, when it comes to Israel’s security, there can be no substitute for victory.
Speculation aside, war becomes inevitable for reasons beyond logic and difficult to explain - and the consequences are actually unpredictable and messy. Typically, in these most challenging and uncertain times, it is very difficult indeed. This is yet another reason why Israel's risks and dilemmas, difficult as they are, will never be brought to a peaceful conclusion.
As former Mossad chief and national security adviser Ephraim Halevy, quoted by the New York Times, said, if he were Iranian he "would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks".