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Scenario That Netanyahu Hasn't Spelled Out: One Iranian Nuke Could Obliterate Israel's Heartland

By DEBKAfile, VOA News & IsraelnationalNews.com


When Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu speaks out against Iran becoming a pre-nuclear state he is warning that Iran could at any time cross the line agreed in diplomacy with the US and build a bomb whenever it chooses. He has never spelled out the mechanics of this threat to Israel's survival.

DEBKA Weekly revealed in detail one potential scenario that, given Israel's small size, would call for no more than one nuke to destroy its heartland and inflict at least an estimated million casualties. This nuclear bomb or device would be dropped from an IranAir civilian airliner on a regular run from Larnaca over the Mediterranean about 100 km from the Israeli coast.

After the plane disappeared, the delayed action mechanism would detonate the bomb and set off a tsunami. Giant waves would swamp the densely populated Tel Aviv conurbation and its satellites. This 1,500 square kilometer area is home to some 3.7 million people, nearly half of the country's entire population, its military and banking centers, hi-tech industry and the stock exchange. The cost in lives would be cataclysmic – at least a million dead.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary rulers make no secret of their plans for Israel. On February 26, the second day of Iran's 2015 war games, a senior Revolutionary Guards officer declared that Iran had the ability to wipe the cities of Haifa and Tel Aviv off the face of the earth.

In projecting this scenario, Israel's defense chiefs have no doubt set up defenses and a second-strike capacity in a mountainous area outside the range of a tsunami and far from Israel's shores. Israel is also on guard on both of its northern borders against the hostile Iranian military presence encroaching from Syria and Lebanon.

It is hard to see what Netantyahu hoped to achieve during hos speech yesterday to the US Congress, aside from dramatizing his fight against the emerging US-Iranian deal which, he warned will enable Iran to consummate its drive for nuclear weapons early in the future.

Netanyahu said negotiations underway between the United States and Iran would "guarantee" that Tehran would get nuclear weapons, a threat not only to the Middle East but to the world. He stressed to lawmakers the grave danger that a nuclear Iran poses to his country. "If the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran, that deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons – it will all but guarantee that Iran will get those nuclear weapons - lots of them."

Iran is sponsoring terrorism around the world, Netanyahu said, adding that Tehran's regime was "as radical as ever," could not be trusted and the deal being worked out with the United States would not block Iran's way to a bomb "but paves its way to a bomb. We've been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well this is a bad deal, a very bad deal," he said. "We're better off without it."

Later Tuesday, President Barack Obama, who said he did not watch the speech but read the transcript, said there was "nothing new" in Netanyahu's remarks Tuesday, insisting the Israeli leader did not offer a better alternative to negotiations.

Netanyahu "did not offer any viable alternative," Obama said, speaking from the Oval Office. "We don't yet have a deal. But if we are successful, this will be the best deal possible with Iran to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon." Obama said Netanyahu's alternative to talks amounts to no deal at all, adding that would lead Iran to redouble efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

Netanyahu was given a rousing standing ovation as he arrived on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday. He immediately tried to defuse the tension caused when House Speaker John Boehner invited him to speak without consulting the White House.

"I regret that some see my appearance here as political," Netanyahu said, adding that he was grateful to Obama for his public and private support of Israel, including U.S. military assistance and contributions to Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system. "We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel," he added.

Nearly 60 Democratic members stayed away from the event, during which Netanyahu warned members that a nuclear deal being negotiated between the United States and Iran would threaten Israel's security.

"This was a speech the American people needed to hear, plain and simple," Boehner said in a statement. " It addressed the gravity of the threats we face and why we cannot allow a nuclear Iran, or any semblance of a path to a nuclear Iran. It demonstrated why there is such deep-seated -- and bipartisan -- concern about the deal that is being made."

"Some people feel the prime minister should not be here at this time, because in a couple weeks there will be an election in Israel," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said. "My business is to find out what's best for America when it comes to defending our nation. I do not think I can adequately do my job if I do not hear from the prime minister of Israel."

Netanyahu said Iran and its leaders pose a threat not only to Israel and the Middle East, but also to nations worldwide and called for action over Iran's nuclear program. Many of Netanyahu's comments were greeted by loud applause from U.S. lawmakers, and not just Republicans. But not everyone was persuaded by his rhetoric.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California conspicuously refrained from applauding on several occasions. And when the Israeli leader called for holding out for a better deal with Iran, she shook her head in disagreement.

"As one who values the U.S.-Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the prime minister's speech -- saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation," Pelosi said in a statement.

Netanyahu, who faces a closely contested March 17 election in Israel, said he thinks the so-called P5+1 group of global powers is planning to ease international sanctions without the ironclad safeguards needed to deny Tehran a nuclear bomb. As a result, he predicted Iran would be able to finance more terrorism in the region and the world.

The U.S. administration says that is just not true, and warned that Netanyahu's speech could unravel the negotiations if he mobilizes U.S. lawmakers in the Republican-held Congress against it.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said earlier Tuesday, "We [Democrats and Republicans] are in common purpose: to stop the development of a nuclear Iran. What troubles me greatly are the criticisms I have heard on this floor about the Obama administration and this issue. ... It was President Obama who really brought together the sanctions regime that is working to bring Iran to the negotiating table."

The deal, as it now stands, would give Tehran some limited ability to enrich uranium --- but Israel wants Iran stripped of its nuclear projects all together to ensure it can't pursue a bomb.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tuesday that Netanyahu is trying to affect negotiations over Iran's nuclear program with his upcoming address to both chambers of the U.S. Congress. "He's trying to, and I don't think trying to create tension and conflict helps anyone," Zarif said to CNN outside talks in Switzerland with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and Republican Senator Ted Cruz took part on Monday in a panel discussion, titled "The Meaning of Never Again: Guarding Against a Nuclear Iran." The discussion, held in a Senate hearing room and moderated by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, focused on the dangers of Iran and the rise of anti-Semitism around the world.

"We have to take [Iran] seriously,'' Wiesel said. "I need proof that Iran has changed its policy. If the evil begins its work, don't give it another chance.''

Cruz called Wiesel a "hero," saying it was "humbling to join him in shining a light on the grave threats facing both Israel and the United States. What matters is what we do right now to address the single greatest national security threat facing both the nation of Israel and the United States: what we do right now to ensure that in no circumstances will the nation of Iran be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons capability."

After Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Congress address on Tuesday, which US President Barack Obama had fiercely opposed, Obama said there was "nothing new" in the speech. He claimed Netanyahu "did not offer any viable alternative" to the Iran nuclear deal being formulated ahead of a March 31 deadline in comments from the Oval Office, reported AFP.

The president has refused to meet Netanyahu during his visit to the US capital and said he did not watch the speech but saw a transcript. "I am not focused in the politics of this, I am not focused on the theater," Obama sniped. "As far as I can tell, there was nothing new."

He added "on the core issue, which is how to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon which would make it far more dangerous, the prime minister did not offer any viable alternatives. We don't yet have a deal. But if we are successful, this will be the best deal possible with Iran to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon," he stated.

Despite Obama's claims, Netanyahu did in fact outline a plan to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in his speech. In his address, Netanyahu called to uphold the existing crippling sanctions on Iran until it yields to three key conditions.

"First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East; second, stop supporting terrorism around the world; and third stop threatening to annihilate my country Israel, the one and only Jewish state!" said Netanyahu.

He added that "at the very least," the nuclear deal "should insist that Iran changes its behavior before the deal expires. If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country."

Netanyahu called on America to stand firm on sanctions and impose these conditions, and if Iran enacts its bluff to walk away from talks he assured they will return, noting "they need the deal a lot more than you do!"

Al-Arabiya's English edition editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas wrote a surprising op-ed on Tuesday, calling on Obama to listen to Netanyahu after the latter addressed Congress on the dangers of an Iran nuclear deal being formulated.

Abbas, whose paper is openly anti-Israel and Saudi-owned, began by scornfully conceding "it is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does. However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran."

The editor backed Netanyahu's recent comment that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing creating a void being filled by "terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran," in an op-ed following an article by a Saudi columnist similarly supporting Netanyahu's appraisal.

"What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World's biggest terrorist regime: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei," Abbas wrote.

Criticizing Obama for his mismanagement of the region, Abbas continued by saying the president rid Syria of its chemical weapons but left the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in place to continue "to slaughter their own people."

Using this example of Iran's ally Assad, he opined "the real Iranian threat is not JUST the regime's nuclear ambitions, but its expansionist approach and state-sponsored terrorism activities which are still ongoing."

Iran today is no longer plotting its "terror activities in secret," he wrote, instead documenting openly how Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' covert operations Al-Quds Force and formerly a very secretive person, is actively managing the fighting in Iraq and being photographed while doing so.

"Among his many handlings, Soleimani is the godfather of Iraq's infamous 'Asaa'ib Ahl Al-Haq' (AAS) brigade, a Shiite paramilitary terrorist group responsible for dozens of atrocious attacks and murdering of both Iraqis and Americans," wrote Abbas.

"Not only is Iran responsible for sponsoring Shiite terrorist groups, but Sunni ones too," he added. "In fact, according to the U.S.'s own State Department, Tehran was home to a number of Al-Qaeda facilitators and high ranking financiers. These accusations are also backed by findings of the U.S. Treasury Department as well."

Defending Saudi Arabia, which as noted is a key owner of his paper, Abbas said some would argue other Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia should not be left out of the equation in blaming most regional problems on Iran.

"On the contrary, it would be biased and/or naïve NOT to blame Iran for such problems," he said. "After all, yes there are terrorists in Saudi Arabia and there are people who financed terrorism, but these are officially outlaws, who are either in jail, being hunted down or are hiding in the caves of Tora Bora or some other remote area."

"The same, sadly, doesn't apply to the terrorists of Iran; these are in uniform, hold government positions and are not bothering to hide their evil plots anymore!" concluded the editor.

Abbas' op-ed comes as Netanyahu warned in Congress that Iran's regional expansionism threatens Arab states as well as Israel, and if unchecked will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.


IDF SWomen Soldiers Create Own Music Video

By YnetNews.com

In new viral video which has topped 45,000 views, group of over 50 humvee operators dance in southern IDF base. They have found a new way to create a stir - creating their own music video to a Flo Rida song.


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