“Without military action, an Iranian nuclear bomb is a matter of time,” according to the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

A survey of the strategic balance in the Middle East in 2005 and 2006 that was written by institute experts shows that time is on Iran’s side, and that without military action, it will obtain nuclear weapons. The researchers, including Dr. Zvi Stauber, noted that although Israel has the technical capability to carry out an attack “of one kind or another” in Iran, the international community should be allowed to exhaust its efforts at this time.

The institute’s researchers determined that in 2006, the threats to security and stability in the Middle East grew more severe because of the stalemate on the Palestinian matter and in light of Iran’s progress toward obtaining a nuclear military option. The situation became more severe also because of the absence of accomplishments in the world war on terrorism and against Islamic extremism, and especially from the failure of the American effort to stabilize the crisis in Iraq. The institute also stated that the American failure in Iraq is damaging the U.S.’ status in the region, and that Israel has nothing to gain from a continued American presence in Iraq. Regarding the war in Lebanon, the authors of the study wrote that it illustrated the problematic nature and the fluidity of Israel’s strategic environment and exposed weaknesses in the IDF in the decision-making process. The researchers also wrote that despite the U.N.’s decisions, Hezbollah has no restrictions on its rearming. They say that it is likely that in the short-term, Hizbullah will keep things quiet on Israel’s border in order to allow the rehabilitation of its arrays and outposts to take place.

As part of the ramifications of the Lebanon War, Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, one of the institute’s researchers, explained that the war has two far-reaching and serious results: Arab countries realized that Israel’s strength is in doubt to a certain extent, and they could engage in future attacks, a possibility that no one thought of half a year ago. Another result is the severe disappointment that Israel’s embarrassing accomplishments during the war caused to the United States and to Western countries.