The Human Cost of Military Strikes Against Iran's Nuclear Facilities
- Most studies have failed to address the human consequences of a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
- We have determined that there will be a significant impact on Iranian civilians with the possibilities of a long war and instability in the region.
- Specific evaluation of four sites show that even a limited surgical attacks will result in thousands of casualties.
- The regime in Tehran will welcome such a conflict since such an attack will enable the regime to rally the population behind its nuclear program.
- The environmental consequences of the attacks will not be confined to Iran only, they will impact neighboring countries and the region.
- The strategic interests of the United States and Iranian people require that any consideration of military strikes on Iranian facilities must take into account the civilian casualties that may result from such strikes.
- Ayatollah Khamenei has proven that he cares little for the Iranian people. The devastation and the human cost of such a gamble requires us to demonstrate that we do care about the Iranian civilians.
- Absence of progress in diplomatic negotiations does not justify the use of military option as a remedy by default.
- US and Israel must consider their future relations with the Iranian nation beyond and after the Islamic regime. The key to a stable, nonbelligerent, democratic and peaceful Iran is in the hands of the young generation of Iranians and they must be distinguished from the current fanatic theocratic regime.
Thank you for this excellent report.
I have tried to raise the issue of radioactive contamination resulting from an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities but got mostly skeptical responses. Here are a couple of my posts on Iranian.com regaring this issue:
Posted on Feb. 11, 2012
Posted on July 3, 2012
The conclusion section of your report begins with this statement:
“The assumption that the military option would force the Ayatollah to consider diplomacy rests on the false projection that Ayatollah’s government is motivated by the protection of the Iranian people’s life, property and sovereignty.”
And also makes this statement:
“The military option, should be judged on its own merits, and virtually no one has explained how the humanitarian fiasco—the death of thousands of Iranian civilians from military strikes—will do anything other than unleash a war that will strengthen the Ayatollah and his allies at the expense of the United States, Israel and the Iranian people.”
The idea that Israel would exercise the military option with the goal in mind of making the Ayattollah’s government more agreeable in negotiations is, if I may be blunt, ludicrous.
Rest assured. If Israel pulls the trigger on the military option its goal will be nothing less than regime change, as well as destruction if Iran’s nuclear capability.
War gamers have already figured this out and news reports have already mentioned it. Your report report mentions that the IAEA and others have said that if Israel strikes at Iran it will succeed only in delaying the day when Iran gets the bomb. Does anyone think that Israel’s war planners do not know this? Consider the world-wide condemnation, the probable societal blowback and unrest, consider the terrorist attacks and retaliation Israel will face from Hamas, Hizballah, and other regional actors which Israel will experience. Does anyone think Israel would be willing to endure all of those horrific costs and still leave the Iranian regime in place so that it may rise again like the phoenix stronger and still able to hurt Israel in the future? No, surely not. Assuming that the claims made in your report about probable Iranian casualties are correct, it seems obvious that the Isrealis cannot possibly be thinking that the Iranian people should suffer those casualties, pay those horrible costs, and then still have to endure the cruelty of the regime that put them in that situation in the first place. (To assume otherwise is to attribute to the Israelis the same callous and genocidal mentality which your report attributes to the current Iranian regime.)
Therefore, any military scenario the Israelis might choose will go far beyond merely destroying the regime’s ability to pursue nucler weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. The Israelis will not be seeking to make the current Iranian regime into a more agreeable negotiator.
If Israel pulls the trigger, we can all expect that their military goal will be no less than regime change. The Iranian leadership itself will be targeted as an act of war. They will do all they can to avoid leaving the current regime in place. In their calculation, it seems to me, that will be the only way for them to be safe and the only outcome that will justify the horrific costs, on both sides of the conflict, and to the world, which would likely follow from the use of force. From the Israeli perspective, it is understood as a matter of life and death.
If your report’s findings are accurate, the conclusions I’ve mentioned follow inevitably like spring after winter, or sunrise after darkness.
Thank you for your thorough research and analysis.
You stated the following:
“US and Israel must consider their future relations with the Iranian nation beyond and after the Islamic regime. The key to a stable, nonbelligerent, democratic and peaceful Iran is in the hands of the young generation of Iranians and they must be distinguished from the current fanatic theocratic regime.”
Let’s take your point as basically sound. Even if true, this leads to a disturbing question: Can Israel afford to wait for the young generation of Iranians to overthrow the regime in their country? Should Israel, while waiting for the Iranian youth to save them, allow their millions of citizens, who are Muslim and Christian as well as Jewish, to be annihilated in order to avoid the thousands of casualties your report justifiably points out will be the result of a military strike against Iran? How are the Israeli’s supposed to resolve such a moral dilemma when, no one in the world is standing with them and no one is intervening to prevent them from having to face such a cruel choice?
The title of your report exposes the truth of the matter. The current Iranian regime is in fact using its own people as human shields, as hostages to their own ambitions for power. While it utterly lacks any moral conscience at all, it counts on the consciences of its enemies as protection. This is deterrence at its worst.
Again, with no help coming to them from the nations of the world, is Israel supposed to allow themselves to be destroyed, while it waits months, years, perhaps too long, for the Iranian youth to rescue them?
God help us all.