Saturday, Nov 22, 2008
Israeli intelligence sources say the prospect of military action against Iran has increased significantly in the past few weeks.
Israeli sources told the Times on Friday that in the past few weeks Tel Aviv has witnessed an increase in the chances of launching an airborne attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
The revelation comes as Israeli military officials recently sent mixed signals about a calculated attack on Iran.
In a Wednesday interview with German weekly Der Speigel, Israeli Air Force Commander General Ido Nehushtan claimed that his forces were ready to follow any order to bring Iran’s nuclear program to a halt.
“The IAF is a very robust and flexible force… ready to do whatever is demanded,” he said.
Former Israeli military general Moshe Ya’alon, meanwhile, claimed that Tel Aviv has the ‘right capabilities’ to launch a successful strike on Iran.
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“[A strike] is not the end of the game. Then, we should follow it up with a viable, sustainable military operation to target the facilities [serving] the regime’s interests, and not allow the regime to rehabilitate itself,” he said.
The head of the Israeli military’s Diplomatic-Security Bureau Amos Gilad, however, said a military attack on Iran would pose a ‘considerable challenge’.
“Iran is a country with smart people that have capabilities… It really would be a considerable challenge,” he said.
Israel’s military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin also dismissed an Israeli plan to strike Iran, saying the world financial crisis and Barack Obama’s election as the next US president have dissipated the chances of wiping out the Iranian enrichment program.
Any military attack on Iran would require US cooperation as it would almost certainly involve Israeli warplanes flying through the Washington-controlled Iraqi airspace.
The Iranian armed forces have repeatedly warned that any attempted violation of Iran’s territorial integrity would be a ‘suicidal folly’.
“After failure in its 33-day-war on Lebanon, Israel has realized that any effort or movement against Iran would have devastating consequences,” the top Iranian military commander Yahya Rahim-Safavi said on Sunday.
This article was posted: Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 4:05 am