Included in the report are satellite images of the Iranian nuclear facilities at Arak and Isfahan; to me, they look a lot like what an Israeli pilot in his F-16, or maybe an American pilot in his F-22, would tape to the canopy of his cockpit in order to provide a visual verification that he was bombing the right target.
The Iranians lack the ability to precision-target their weapons in the same manner in which the Israelis can, so the report postulates that the main targets for their nukes would be the core coastal Israeli metropolis, from Haifa in the north to Ashkelon just north of the border with Gaza. Haifa, the report notes, is surrounded by hills, which means that the destructive force of any nuclear device detonated over the city would bounce off the mountains and double back onto the city, greatly amplifying its damage. Tel Aviv is on a long, flat coastal plain, but it is a very densely populated city, with an estimated 7,445 of population per square kilometer.
Of course, if the war commenced not with the "limited" Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear production facilities (this attack would be classified as "counterforce" by the nuclear cognoscenti ), but with a full-blown "countervalue" Iranian strike against Israel's cities, it is doubtful that the Israelis would feel obligated to limit their retaliatory vengeance to just Iran's military targets.
From out of their hardened silos would fly the Israeli missiles and bombers, with their primary target being Tehran, along with Iran's other population centers. With over 7 million people just within the bounds of Tehran itself, 15 million in the surrounding metropolitan area, the city contains over 20% of Iran's population and is the center of the nation's communications, production, educational and cultural infrastructure.
Casualties from this exchange would be nightmarish, horrific, incalculable - except by Cordesman and his CSIS team.
The lower yield and less accurate Iranian volley, sparing Jerusalem due to its centrality to the Moslem faith, would inflict between 200,000 to 800,000 Israeli fatalities along the coastal plain in the first 21 days. These are called "prompt" casualties; it's who dies before people start dropping from longer-term radiation exposure. Any surviving residents of the central core of urban Tel Aviv would still be exposed to 300 REM (roentgen equivalent man) of radiation 96 hours after the blasts, as opposed to an exposure during an average dental X-ray of about .010 REM.
The more accurate and bigger Israeli nukes, the report speculates, would inflict a far greater toll on Iranian cities - in between 16 million and 28 million in just "prompt" fatalities. The report says that that an Israeli recovery from its damage would be "theoretically possible in population and economic terms", whereas an Iranian recovery would be "not possible in normal terms"; in essence, the Iranian nation will be destroyed.
Thus, what the report is saying is that one day next decade you might wake up with an Iran, after almost 6,000 years as a national entity and still there at sunrise, would be wiped off the map by sunset.
Israeli dead under this scenario would once again be between 200,000 and 800,000. Recovery, however, would be quicker, since this type attack spares civilian buildings and infrastructure. Syria, with 80% of its population concentrated in just 11 cities, would suffer between 6 million and 18 million dead in a counterattack; the higher number would represent about 95% of its estimated 2007 population. Not since the Roman destruction of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War in 146 BC would one nation have made another suffer so dearly as punishment for losing a war.
Complete article here