Israel Would Use U.S. Bombs to Attack Iran
Israeli government ministers and Knesset members who will help make the decision about whether to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities do not have to wait any longer for a preparatory briefing by the Israel Air Force.
They can read about all the possible scenarios for a strike on Iran, and about the potential risks and chances of success, in a study by Abdullah Toukan and Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
Never before has such an open, detailed and thorough study of Israel’s offensive options been published. The authors of the 114-page study meticulously gathered all available data on Israel’s military capabilities and its nuclear program, and on Iran’s nuclear developments and aerial defenses, as well as both countries’ missile inventory….
The Iranians use the centrifuges to enrich uranium, which is required in order to produce a nuclear bomb. There are already 6,000 centrifuges at the Natanz facility; the Iranians plan to install a total of 50,000, which could be used to produce 500 kilos of weapons-grade uranium annually. Building a nuclear bomb takes 15-20 kilograms of enriched uranium. That means that the Natanz facility will be able to supply enough fissile material for 25-30 nuclear weapons per year.
Because the Natanz facility is so important, the Iranians have gone to great lengths to protect it. To contend with the serious defensive measures they have taken, the IAF will use two types of U.S.-made smart bombs. According to reports in the foreign media, 600 of these bombs – nicknamed “bunker busters” – have been sold to Israel. One is called GBU-27, it weighs about 900 kilos and it can penetrate a 2.4-meter layer of concrete. The other is called GBU-28 and weighs 2,268 kilos; this monster can penetrate 6 meters of concrete and another layer of earth 30 meters deep. But for these bombs to penetrate ultra-protected Iranian facilities, IAF pilots will have to strike the targets with absolute accuracy and at an optimal angle. >>>
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moves to engage in a “flurry of diplomacy” with Arab leaders with the aim of forming a coalition against Iran.
Speaking at a press conference in Amman, Jordan, Netanyahu attempted to shift the focus of talks from the two-state solution to Iran’s nuclear program, citing the country’s nuclear activities as his government’s main concern.
Netanyahu went on to say that shared Israeli and Arab concern over Iran’s nuclear program is a “new phenomenon” presenting the opportunity for “unprecedented cooperation” between Israel and Muslim nations against Iran.
The Israeli prime minister, who is scheduled to start his three-day visit to the US on Sunday, is expected to repeat his message to the White House and appeal for President Barack Obama’s support for a potential war on Iran.
Israel — the sole possessor of a nuclear warhead in the Middle East — accuses Iran of making efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, maintaining that a “nuclear Iran” is the prime existential threat to its security.
Iran, however, says its nuclear activities are only aimed at the peaceful applications of the technology.
Netanyahu’s remarks come amid explicit threats by Israeli officials to strike Iranian nuclear infrastructure.
Israel’s Home Front Command has announced plans to mobilize the Israeli army as well as the public to hold the largest military exercise in its history on June 2.
The head of Israel’s Department for Population at the Home Front Command Colonel Hilik Sofer said by holding the weeklong military exercise Israel seeks to “transform the population from a passive to an active one… We want the citizens to understand that war can happen tomorrow morning.”
Earlier in March, the hawkish Israeli prime minister had raised the alarm about a major military conflict in the upcoming months.
According to Debka, which is believed to have close links to the Israeli spy agency Mossad, “His main consideration is that Israel expects to be embroiled in a major military confrontation in the next few months with Iran, Hamas or Hezbollah — or all three at once.”
The Obama administration has expressed discontent over warming ties between Iran and the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar, a report says.
Washington has secretly warned Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani that he would loose support of U.S. troops based in the country, if Doha insists on getting close to Tehran officials, Debkafile reported, citing sources in the U.S. and the Middle East.
Debkafile, which is believed to be affiliated with Israeli intelligence, added that the U.S. has said it would close its three military bases in the small Arab state, if Doha insists on maintaining its close ties to Tehran.
According to the report, White House officials have told their counterparts in the Arab country that a U.S. troop withdrawal would leave Muscat defenseless in case of a regional military conflict. Qatari officials, however, may not necessarily share the same view.
Qatar refused to follow on the footsteps of Washington and its Arab allies in the region particularly over the recent Israeli offensive on Gaza Strip which killed over 1350 people and wounded thousands others including a large number of women and children.
The U.S. vetoed several anti-Israeli Resolutions in the U.N. Security Council which called for the immediate end of the Israeli military operations in the already impoverished Palestinian coastal enclave.
The U.S. showed its discontent by exempting Qatar from the countries that Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited on his recent regional tour, the report said.
Washington has also warned the Qatari emir to take all possible measures to soften the anti-U.S. tone of news broadcasts aired on the country’s al Jazeera TV network, it added.
News of Washington’s reaction to warming ties between Iran and Qatar could indicate that the new US administration’s position on Iran is not all that different to Bush era policies toward the country, despite President Barack Obama’s apparently contrary tone on the issue.
While Obama says he is trying to reach out to Iran, his administration has extended sanctions that were imposed on the country during Bill Clinton’s presidential term.
It also levied fresh embargoes on six Iranian firms over alleged links to Tehran’s missile and nuclear work last month.
In late April, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told U.S. lawmakers that the U.S. was ‘willing’ to engage diplomatically with Iran but at the same time threatened Tehran with ‘very tough, crippling sanctions’ if the desired results were not achieved.
Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister has said that the Middle East should not be burdened by an economic crisis which started from the U.S.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, speaking during the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East, criticized the absence of ‘an international reaction’ to the global financial crisis.
“Unfortunately, this did not happen and the entire burden fell on the shoulders of governments which did not have any hand in the crisis,” he said, referring to the spread of the financial crisis from the U.S. to the Middle East.
The summit has kicked off in Jordan to discuss the impact of the global economic downturn on the region.
Policymakers and business leaders from 85 countries attend the three-day summit, which began on Friday under the theme of ‘Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for the Middle East: Home-grown Strategies for Success’.
The summit aims to discuss the global financial crisis and how it affects energy markets and asset values in the Middle East, which is home to many of the world’s biggest oil and gas exporters.
Opening the forum, Jordan’s King Abdullah II called for the Middle East to become an economic ‘powerhouse’ that could help reshape the global economy after the credit crunch.
Samir Brikho, Chief Executive Officer of British oil service and engineering group Amec, and Co-Chair of the WEF on the Middle East said, “We need to look back to the 1930s to see the same level of crisis as we have today. It’s hitting every country and economy.”
The summit hopes to find solutions to maintain the region’s stable economic growth which has been seriously under threat by the economic downturn.
Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says the realistic end to Iran’s nuclear dispute with the West lies in the “freeze for freeze” solution.
Following the Obama administration’s plans to change America’s diplomatic approach toward Iran, Mohamed ElBaradei said Tehran should seize the chance of diplomatic engagement with Washington.
“I advise my Iranian negotiating partners: grasp the hand that Obama is extending to you,” ElBaradei said in an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday.
“I think Freeze for Freeze is the next realistic step. The Iranians would install no more centrifuges, the West would forego further sanction measures. During this time, there would be intensive negotiations,” he added.
President Barack Obama, in what was widely viewed as a softened line toward Iran, told the Arabic-language television station Al Arabiya in January that, “if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.”
While there have been calls in Iran to take up the invitation for direct talks with the U.S., the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has the final say in defining the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy toward the White House.
Under former U.S. president George W. Bush, Washington pursued a carrot-and-stick policy on Tehran over its nuclear program and by setting the precondition of halting enrichment activities, it reduced chances of talks on the long-standing nuclear dispute.
Accusing Iran of making efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, the United Nations Security Council has so far imposed three rounds of sanctions on Iran for continuing enrichment.
Earlier in June after world powers offered Iran political and economic incentives in return for the suspension of its enrichment program, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran would never back down on its nuclear program.
Iran says the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — to which it is a signatory — gives the country the right to enrich uranium for peaceful applications.
Tehran says its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity for its growing population.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog confirms that Iran has only managed to enrich uranium-235 to a level “less than 5 percent.”
Uranium, the fuel for a nuclear power plant, can be used for military purposes only if enriched to high levels of above 90 percent.
- Obama Warns Netanyahu Not to Launch Surprise Attack on Iran (14 May 09)
- Israel Prepares for War With Iran Next Year, Study Exposes Fallacy of Iran Threat (12 May 09)
- Israel is Just Using Iran to Stall Progress on the Middle East (8 May 09)
- Lieberman: Give Iran Three-Month Deadline, Limit Dialogue (5 May 09)
- The Lobby Wants War With Iran (3 May 09)
- Lieberman: Israel Will Not Attack Iran, U.S. Responsible for Iran (26 Apr 09)
- Israel Planned to Attack Iran on April 17: Debka (24 Apr 09)
- Chomsky: Nuclear Energy Not for Non-Allied Iran (21 Apr 09)
- Israel Stands Ready to Bomb Iran (18 Apr 09)