February 5, 2012
A diplomat based in Islamabad said on Sunday that an Israeli attack on Iran would force Pakistan to support a Iranian response, according to the Israeli website Ynetnews.com.
The diplomat did not say if the Pakistani retaliation would be diplomatic or involve a conventional military or nuclear response.
Although estimates of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile vary, it is believed the Islamic country has between 70 and 90 warheads. In 2000, U.S. military and intelligence sources put the number at 100. In 2007, retired Pakistani Brigadier-General Feroz Khan told a Pakistani newspaper that his country has “about 80 to 120 genuine warheads.”
Pakistan also has a number of delivery system for its nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear MIRV-equipped medium range ballistic missiles with ranges up to 2500 kilometers. It also has cruise missiles and is believed to be working on tactical nuclear weapons.
In August of 2011, it was reported that the United States considers Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal a threat and it has a “snatch-and-grab” plan for a worse case scenario.
Both Russia and China have said that an attack on Iran would be an attack on their national security.
“Iran is our close neighbor, just south of the Caucasus. Should anything happen to Iran, should Iran get drawn into any political or military hardships, this will be a direct threat to our national security,” Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s deputy prime minister and former envoy to NATO, said in mid-January.
“China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third world war,” said Major General Zhang Zhaozhong in December.