Hertzliya Interdisciplinary Center
Hertzliya Interdisciplinary Center Creative Commons

An experts' simulation of a scenario in which Iran obtains nuclear weapons predicted that the United States would wind up entering Lebanon. The simulation was held at the Lauder School of Government in the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center earlier this week.

The scenario was played out by former diplomats, military men and academicians, each of whom represented a top decision maker in the countries involved. U.S. President Barack Obama was played by Dan Kurtzer, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel. Israel's Prime Minister was played by former Ambassador to Washington Zalman Shoval, and the 'Defense Minister was Maj.-Gen. (res.) Eitan Ben-Eliyahu.

The simulation began with an opening scenario that was presented to the participants and to which they were asked to respond. The second round of the simulation was based upon the results of the previous round's interaction between the participants, as well as an additional imaginary event. All together, four different complex scenarios were played out.

The simulation's 40 participants played 20 countries and international bodies. The simulations showed the world reacting in a relatively moderate way to Iran's crossing the nuclear threshold. The U.S. would assemble a multinational force, it was predicted, and enter Lebanon. 

In charge of the simulation was Prof. Alex Mintz, who said in the concluding session that “the main goal of the game was to examine what would happen if Iran had proven military nuclear capability. The simulation held today was a continuation of the simulation held several months ago at Harvard University, which reached two conclusions: meaningful advances by Iran en route to the nuclear bomb, and true concern of a diplomatic crisis between the US and Israel.”

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