Israel's reported plan to hit Iran is posturing, says an analyst
The staunch belief among a number of analysts and think tanks in the West that Israel would never tolerate a nuclear armed Iran, appears to have been confirmed, reports Vijay Dutt.india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 13:56 IST
The staunch beliefamong a number ofanalysts and think tanks in the West that Israel would never tolerate a nuclear armed Iran, appears to have been confirmed with recent reports that it has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities.
The Sunday Times has now reported that two Israeli air force squadrons are undergoing training on how to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear "bunker-busters", quoting several Israeli military sources.
But Paul Beaver, internationally known London-based defence analyst, remained skeptical. Attack plans were more of"posturing" than a real possibility, he told the Hindustan Times.
The Sunday Times report said Israeli pilots had flown to Gibraltar in recent weeks to train for the 2,000-mile round trip to the Iranian targets. Three possible routes were being mapped out, including one over Turkey.
The paper said Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb. Israel has identified three prime targets south of Tehran which are believed to be involved in Iran's nuclear programme.
The plans are meticulous. First conventional laser-guided bombs would open "tunnels" into the targets. "Mini-nukes" would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz. "As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished," a source told the newspaper.
The paper also said that Israeli and US officials met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole the United States into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack.
ButBeever is far from convinced. "Israel has the military capability (to attack Iran) but the present government does not have the political will," he insisted. "It already has the southern Lebanon trouble on its hands. Such posturing will also help Israel in dealing with southern Lebanon."
Beever also cited the case of India and Pakistan. Twenty years ago who would have thought the two countries would become nuclear powers?"But they have and its not as catastrophic as everyone imagined," he pointed out.
First Published: Jan 07, 2007 19:32 IST