A British think tank, the Oxford Research Group (ORG), has issued a report that says Israel is poised to strike Iran's nuclear facilities and warns against doing so. The group is partially funded by the Ford Foundation and its analysts have, in the past, advocated negotiating with Iran and written articles that portrayed Hamas in a positive light.

“The potential for an Israeli military strike on Iran over its nuclear program has grown sharply, but its consequences would be devastating and would lead to a long war,” warns ORG's Paul Rogers in his report “Military Action Against Iran: Impact and Effects”.

The report analyzes recent developments and argues that Israel is now fully capable of attacking Iran, having deployed new systems that include long-range strike aircraft and armed drones.

Not just military targets

It predicts that a strike by the Jewish state would be “focused not only on destroying ‘military real estate’ – nuclear and missile targets – but also would hit factories and research centers, and even university laboratories, in order to do as much damage as possible to the Iranian expertise that underpins the [nuclear] program.”

Furthermore, the Israeli campaign “would not be limited to remote bases but would involve the direct bombing of targets in Tehran,” ORG conjectures. “It would probably include attempts to kill those technocrats who manage Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.”

Rogers says that there would be numerous civilian casualties, not just among people who staff Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, but also among their families – because living quarters would be hit – and the help staff in factories, research stations and university departments.

Iran’s nuclear and missile programs would be heavily damaged, the report says, but Iranian political unity would increase, making President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hold on power more stable.

Missiles on Israel

In response, Iran could withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and take immediate action to develop nuclear weapons, using “deeply-buried facilities that are reported to be under construction.”

There would be missile attacks on Israel; actions to cause a sharp rise in oil prices by closing the Straits of Hormuz; paramilitary and/or missile attacks on western Gulf oil production, processing and transportation facilities, and “strong support” for militias in Iraq and Afghanistan that oppose the U.S. and its allies..

The report warns: “An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would almost certainly be the beginning of a long-term process of regular Israeli air strikes to further prevent the development of nuclear weapons and medium-range missiles. Iranian responses would also be long-term, ushering in a lengthy war with global as well as regional implications.”