If sanctions, diplomacy, and covert sabotage fail to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons, it will be up to the IDF to do the job—as America will be unlikely to attack Iran, and the Gulf states lack the ability to do so. But it is not clear that the Jewish state has the necessary armaments. John Hannah writes:
[W]hile successfully attacking the Iranian program would present a significant but achievable challenge to the U.S. military, the mission would almost certainly stretch the capabilities of Israel—whose annual defense budget is less than one-thirtieth the size of the Pentagon’s—to its outermost limits. Moreover, unlike the United States, Israel’s entire territory, population, and national infrastructure would be vulnerable to Iran’s inevitable retaliatory strike, including up to 150,000 lethal projectiles in the hands of Hizballah, Iran’s Lebanese proxy, stationed directly on Israel’s northern border.
If an American military option is for all intents and purposes off the table, U.S. officials [should] make sure that Israel has the military assets it needs, first, to inflict maximum damage on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and, second, to prevail as quickly as possible in the devastating war that Iran and its regional proxies would likely impose on the Jewish state in response.
Israel, [for instance], needs more of America’s most advanced strike aircraft, in particular F-35s and F-15s, as the Israeli minister of defense Benny Gantz and air-force chief Amikam Norkin made clear earlier this year. The IDF wants to ensure it can conduct the huge number of sorties that would be required not only to hit the targets most critical to Iran’s nuclear program (perhaps multiple times each) but also to defeat Iran’s significant air defenses and suppress as much as possible its second-strike capability, especially its arsenal of ballistic missiles and drones, the largest in the Middle East. Compared to Israel’s destruction of nuclear reactors in Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007, where in each case a single target was taken out by a handful of planes on only one round-trip mission, the size and scope of an attack on Iran would be orders of magnitude more complicated.
Read more on Foreign Policy: https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/10/15/israel-idf-iran-nuclear-arms-weapons/