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SECURING AMERICA, STRENGTHENING ISRAEL

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JINSA Visiting Fellow Gabriel Scheinmann Featured in the Wall Street Journal, 3/19/2013

Risking the Findlandization of the Persian Gulf
By Simon Henderson and Gabriel Scheinmann
Wall Street Journal
March 19, 2013

Where is the Iranian nuclear showdown going? No doubt that will be a subject of discussion when President Obama visits Israel this week and meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But in Washington, Jerusalem and other capitals, officials tend to discuss whether time remains to prevent (or delay) an Iranian bomb, and what the consequences would be if not. Many speak with certainty, but their most basic assumptions remain questionable.

Can even the most sophisticated intelligence services know, in real time, the nuclear progress of a country half the size of Europe? The U.S. was caught off-guard by nearly every country that has gone nuclear, from the Soviet Union in 1949 to North Korea in 2006.

It is useful, then, to consider how the world would look with a nuclear Iran. Even today, without a bomb, Iranian leaders already boast regularly of their intention "to wipe Israel off the map." While many non-Israelis consider this scenario implausible, Iran's ambitions don't end with Israel.

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