- - Monday, October 5, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Contrary to the writer’s claim in “Pursuing contradictory goals” (Web, Oct. 1) that Israel would have used the nuclear weapon in response to missiles launched by Saddam Hussein carrying nerve gas, Israel has always stressed that it would not be the first in the Middle East to use that weapon. Only in response to such an action by an enemy would Israel have employed its nuclear-bomb arsenal in retaliation.

When Israel was on the brink of extinction during the 1973 Yom Kippur war, then Prime Minister Golda Meir vetoed the idea of using an atomic weapon. However, such restraint would certainly not occur today if Iran chose to make the first strike either on its own or through its surrogates, Hezbollah, Hamas and Syrian President Bashar Assad in Syria.

While the leaders of Iran are aware of this possibility, when they do achieve nuclear-bomb capability in the not-too-distant future, they will not be reluctant to apply that weapon in exchange for retaliation by Israel. Consider their actions during the Iran-Iraq war, in which they used thousands of ill-trained troops as cannon fodder against Iraq.

NELSON MARANS

Silver Spring

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