Little progress was made towards a deal between Iran and the six major powers at talks this week in Iraq.With speculation about a possible Israeli strike still high, one key aspect of a possible conflict with Iran has been little discussed. Michael Adler, an expert on Iran’s nuclear capabilities at the Woodrow Wilson Center here in Washington, discusses the “zone of immunity.”

With all the talk of whether Israel will attack Iran, it is important to understand when Israel might feel it has no other choice but to act. Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli military intelligence chief, wrote in the New York Times that, “an Israeli strike against Iran would be a last resort, if all else failed to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. That moment of decision will occur when Iran is on the verge of shielding its nuclear facilities from a successful attack – what Israel’s leaders have called the ‘zone of immunity’.” Keep reading →