Israel’s Great Fear: Iran Might Act Like Them

Military Officials Concerned Iran Might Try 'Nuclear Ambiguity'

Those who follow the Israeli media will see the nation’s government afraid of a myriad of things. Today, as it so often does, attention turns to Iran’s nuclear program, but with a different spin than usual.

Now, Israeli officials aren’t just scared that Iran might make a nuclear weapon, they are scared that Iran will copy their formula of “nuclear ambiguity” and not tell anybody about it. Military officials say that possibility “is growing.”

Of course this would be entirely impractical for a few reasons, not the least of which is that Iran, unlike Israel, is a member in good standing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and lets inspectors survey their civilian enrichment program.

Even putting this fairly big difference aside, the reality of the matter is that Israel’s “nuclear ambiguity” isn’t working. Everyone knows Israel has nuclear weapons, and even if their government doesn’t officially admit it even top Israeli officials will “slip” from time to time and mention the nukes.

In practice Israel’s policy only works because US officials simply don’t care that Israel has a massive nuclear arsenal, and works hard to keep the international community from calling them on it. Iran has no such built in protection, and would be caught instantly if they tried to behave like Israel does.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.