Is Iran Bluffing on Retaliation Threat?

Israeli officials and academic experts think that Iran’s threats of retaliation to a possible strike against it are a bluff, the New York Times reported on Friday.

Citing a number of officials and reports, the New York Times said that estimates that a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities “would set off a catastrophic series of events” is considered by some to be “partly a bluff,” and that these estimates are accepted at the top levels of the Israeli government.

The newspaper said it had spoken with eight current and recent top Israeli officials, and that these conversations suggest that “since Israel has been demanding the new sanctions, including an oil embargo and seizure of Iran’s Central Bank assets, it will give the sanctions some months to work; the sanctions are viewed here as probably insufficient; a military attack remains a very real option; and postattack situations are considered less perilous than one in which Iran has nuclear weapons.”

One retired official told the New York Times that based on past scenarios including threats from Saddam Hussein to “burn half of Israel,” and threats from Hezbollah which resulted in limited harm to Israel, “If you put all those retaliations together and add in the terrorism of recent years, we are probably facing some multiple of that.”

“I’m not saying Iran will not react. But it will be nothing like London during World War Two,” the New York Times reported the official as saying, citing an internal report.

The newspaper also said that an upcoming paper by Tel Aviv University’s National Center for Security Studies claims that Iran’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz are also “a bluff.”

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Is Iran Bluffing on Retaliation Threat?

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