Israel has threatened to use its nuclear arsenal before to deter
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Assuming it cannot overcome the fear or genuine risk of living in Tehran's nuclear crosshairs even were it to fully or partially lift the veil over its nuclear arsenal (Ramberg, 2010), this leaves Israel with a stark option: use its nuclear arsenal not simply to hit IranÕs nuclear plants but to eliminate or, in a remote corner of Iran, ignite a nuclear weapon to demonstrate the capacity to eliminate the regime that sustains them. The past affords examples of plausible use: In the buildup to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Israel, concerned about chemical attacks, made veiled nuclear threats against Iraq. In the 1980s, apprehensive over the Kremlin's military involvement in the region, Jerusalem reportedly targeted the Soviet Union (Ginor and Remez, 2007). But it would be in the darkest hours of the Yom Kippur War, October 8 and 9, 1973, with Syrian forces threatening breakthrough, that Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir placed the country's nuclear-capable Jericho ballistic missiles on strategic alert. Accounts differ as to whether Israel armed the missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft (Cohen, 2003, 2010; Farr, 1999).