Benjamin Netanyahu Israel prime minister
New report says Benjamin Netanyahu told military to prepare for an attack on Iran's nuclear programme two years ago (Reuters)

The threat of a nuclear war between Iran and Israel is the subject of Channel 4's Dispatches, as the filmmakers look at the impact a conflict of this sort could have.

Nuclear War Games looks at Israel's threats on Iran's nuclear facilities, the Israelis war exercises and examines thetensions between the two countries, as well as the likelihood of a military attack.

The programme follows news that the Israel's prime minister was planning to order an attack on Iran two years ago.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Ehud Barak ordered the military to prepare for an attack on Iran's nuclear programme in 2010.

However, they did not go through with the plan. An Israeli news programme, Channel 2's Uvda, now claims this was because top security officials opposed the attack.

It says that former military chief, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, warned that if Israel's enemies got wind of the preparations it would risk all-out war.

He is quoted as saying: "This accordion produces music when you play it. This is not something you do if you are not sure you want to end up with a military operation."

Meir Dagan, who was the head of the Mossad spy agency at the time, reportedly accused the prime minister and defence minister of acting illegally because they did not seek approval from Cabinet ministers. "[They] simply tried to steal a decision to go to war," he told Uvda.

A clip from the programme reveals Barak saying Ashkenazi told him the military would not be able to carry out the attack. Ashkenazi denies this, instead saying he told Barak that an attack would be a "strategic mistake".

According to the Channel 4 Dispatches programme, both the US and Britain could be dragged into a regional war between the two countries.

One feature of the documentary is a look at a 'war game'; a theoretical exercise undertaken by the Institute for National Security Studies. The INSS is made up of former political and military leaders, and senior Israeli experts.

The war game starts with news that Israeli planes attacked nuclear sites in Iran. The Iranians retaliate almost immediately, launching missiles that kill 75 and injure hundreds more.

At the end of the simulation, Israel is victorious and Iranian retaliation was limited. These results were fed back to Israeli government.

However, the Israeli victory was questioned by Hossein Mousavian, who used to be a leading member of the nuclear negotiating team in Iran. He said Iran would respond to any Israeli attack and would keep fighting.

Dispatches questions what would happen if this war game became a reality, examining if Iran was an actual threat to Israel or if there were greater concerns lying at the heart of Israeli society.