Sunday, January 7, 2007

Report Reveals Israel's Plans To Nuke Iran

ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.
This according to Uzi Mahnaimi and Sarah Baxter, in London's Sunday Times.
Under the plans, conventional laser-guided bombs would open “tunnels” into the targets. “Mini-nukes” would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz, exploding deep underground to reduce the risk of radioactive fallout.

“As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished,” said one of the sources.
I love the smell of confidence in the morning. Smells like ...

Tactical Considerations

The plans, disclosed to The Sunday Times last week, have been prompted in part by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad’s assessment that Iran is on the verge of producing enough enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons within two years.

Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock.
Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action.
Israeli pilots have flown to Gibraltar in recent weeks to train for the 2,000-mile round trip to the Iranian targets. Three possible routes have been mapped out, including one over Turkey.

Air force squadrons based at Hatzerim in the Negev desert and Tel Nof, south of Tel Aviv, have trained to use Israel’s tactical nuclear weapons on the mission. The preparations have been overseen by Major General Eliezer Shkedi, commander of the Israeli air force.

International Repercussions

The nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.
So it's nuclear blackmail, then! If the US declines to intervene, we go tactical-nuclear.
Robert Gates, the new US defence secretary, has described military action against Iran as a “last resort”, leading Israeli officials to conclude that it will be left to them to strike.
Ahhh. Nuclear blackmail declined.
Sources close to the Pentagon said the United States was highly unlikely to give approval for tactical nuclear weapons to be used. One source said Israel would have to seek approval “after the event”, as it did when it crippled Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak with airstrikes in 1981.
... or more accurately, nuclear blackmail side-stepped ...

Leaking as an Art Form; Leaking as a Weapon of War

Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack.
... or more than one of the above.
Some analysts warned that Iranian retaliation for such a strike could range from disruption of oil supplies to the West to terrorist attacks against Jewish targets around the world.
Very unlikely in my opinion but useful on a public-diplomacy level all the same. Iran has been playing a very cagey game; surely they understand that their quarrel is with Israel and not with Judaism.
Israeli officials believe that destroying all three [of Iran's nuclear] sites would delay Iran’s nuclear programme indefinitely and prevent them from having to live in fear of a “second Holocaust”.
oh yes, and I almost forgot to mention ... because you'll believe anything!