JERUSALEM—With a possible agreement on Iran’s nuclear program approaching, the Israeli navy today hosted military reporters on a tour of its latest submarine, part of an underwater fleet reportedly armed with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles that will serve as Israel’s major deterrent against a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic.
The submarine, the INS Tanin (in English, “Crocodile”) is one of five acquired from Germany in the past two decades.
According to foreign reports, cruise missiles aboard the vessels have a range of close to 1,000 miles and can carry nuclear warheads. Capable of extended stays at sea, one or more of submarines would likely always be within range of Iran.
Although Israel is reported to have some 80 nuclear weapons, these are seen only as “doomsday” options.
Meir Dagan, a former Mossad chief who opposed a preemptive Israeli air strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, has said that such an attack should be carried out “only when the sword is at the throat.” Although the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon has raised fears in Israel, many find comfort in the second-strike capability provided by the submarines that, they believe, make it unlikely that Iran would attack Israel with nuclear weapons.
Full article: On Eve of Possible Deal, Israel Shows Off Latest Sub (Washington Free Beacon)